The Board of State Canvassers in Michigan recently ok’d petitions from two cannabis advocate groups eager to put measures to legalize the substance for recreational use on the November 2016 ballot. And now, the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee (MCCLRC) and the Michigan Cannabis Coalition (MCC) are set to duel in door-to-door combat, as they seek to get more than 200,000 signatures for their petitions.
“We’ve seen the legislature fail for seven or eight years now to adequately fix the issues with medical marijuana and we can’t give them 10 more years to get it right,” Jeffrey Hank, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MCCLRC, said to MLIVE in a recent interview.
The MCC proposal outlines a state-appointed Michigan Cannabis Control Board that would be in charge of commercial growing and retail sales. This proposal also would allow the state to apply a tax to the revenue of cannabis sold which does not include any funding for local programs. The MCCLRC proposal would like to see marijuana manufacturing, testing and retail sales establishments licensed by local governments as well as add a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana transactions. The revenue from this tax would then be split between transportation, school and government funding.
“We’re trying to create a new industry in Michigan,” Matt Marsden of the MCC told MLIVE. “Inside the regulation of a cash crop, you have an industry that can support HVAC, insurance, accounting, security, distribution, retail real estate. All of these things… are going to help stimulate and grow a stronger economy and generate more revenue.”
Even though both groups want the same outcome, their complete proposals are unique, which has helped to breed a bit of competition between the two campaigns.
“We are more of a comprehensive group,” said Hank of MCCLRC. “We have all the top marijuana lawyers in Michigan who really know the law. We have a think-tank… that has covered every single issue the other groups have not. We have a much more comprehensive petition that deals with hemp, it allows individuals to grow more plants than the other groups and it doesn’t allow local governments to prohibit people from growing locally.”
However, MCC isn’t going down without a fight.
“We’ve retained the best statistics company in the country,” said Marsden. “ I believe we’ll get the… signatures to make this thing bullet proof.”
Do you think Michigan is ready for recreational marijuana? Which proposal do you think would be the best for Michigan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.