Michigan as a Cannabis Battleground
Two bills that would restore the state of Michigan’s medical marijuana program are being fast-tracked for approval alongside a bill that may open the doors for Big Pharma to dominate the state’s medical cannabis industry.
House Bill 4271 and House Bill 5104 received unanimous approval from a state House panel Tuesday and multiple sources working on the bills state a vote by the full House will likely occur by the end of the week. These bills would allow medical cannabis dispensaries to operate again and grant patients the right to treat themselves with edibles, following two rulings that called into question the very core of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act as approved by voters in 2008.
The House Judiciary Committee also approved Senate Bill 660, a bill that would allow pharmacies to sell medical marijuana, contingent on the federal government regulating cannabis as a prescription drug. SB660 has already been approved by the state Senate.
Prairie Plant Systems, a corporate purveyor of high-grade and very expensive marijuana, formerly possessed a monopoly on Canada’s medical marijuana supply and has been awarded the first two licenses to produce Canadian cannabis in an overhaul of the nation’s medical marijuana program. Passage of SB 660 would give the Canadian company a virtual monopoly to be the only supplier the Michigan pharmacies could use. The bill is being lobbied though the company’s Michigan Lobbyist Chuck Perricone, a former Michigan Speaker of the House.
Update: HB 4271 and HB 5104 both passed Thursday, with a 95-14 vote and 100-9 vote respectively. They will now move on to the Senate. SB 660 also passed Thursday with a 87-22 vote and is now on to Gov. Rick Snyder for his review and possible signature.