Alcohol, tobacco interests eyeing Michigan marijuana market

By John Schroyer

At a time when Michigan’s medical marijuana regulations are being written – and adult-use proponents are finalizing a legalization measure for the 2018 ballot – representatives from the alcohol and tobacco industries have had a seat at the negotiating table.

It’s not yet clear how the alcohol and tobacco interests will be involved in the marijuana business.

But there are signs the tobacco industry is at least eyeing the retail end of the market. And MJ industry officials have…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Franwell wins Michigan cannabis tracking deal worth nearly $450K

Florida-based Franwell, which built Colorado’s cannabis tracking system, has been awarded a state contract from Michigan worth nearly $450,000 to implement a similar inventory tracking program for the state’s medical marijuana program.

The Michigan deal is in keeping with new regulations that will oversee a web of state-licensed MMJ businesses.

The contract, according to Crain’s Detroit Business, is worth $447,625.

Franwell beat out 10 competitors to win the contract, including BioTrackTHC, MJ Freeway, Kind…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


States with the best chance to legalize cannabis in 2017?

Marijuana legalization

By John Schroyer

After a landmark year in cannabis legalization, marijuana advocates have plenty of work left. And they’re not resting on their laurels.

The Marijuana Policy Project calculates a whopping 38 legalization bills for medical or recreational marijuana are likely to be introduced in 33 states and the District of Columbia in 2017.

“There’s more support for marijuana policy reform than ever before among the public, and that appears to be reflected in state lawmakers’ views as well,” said Mason Tvert, the advocacy group’s…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Michigan’s new medical cannabis laws take effect

New medical marijuana laws went into effect in Michigan this week.

The laws legalize medical cannabis dispensaries, regulate cultivation and processing operations and enhance legal protections to patients who have been recommended to use edibles or oils rather than smokable marijuana.


Marijuana Business License Directory
The laws also include an additional category for cannabis-infused products, as well as an added tax on dispensaries and a state licensing system to cultivate, sell, transport and test cannabis. The laws also institute a seed-to-sale monitoring…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Michigan MMJ program criticized for doctor certifications

Michigan’s medical marijuana program has come under criticism after a state audit found that a small number of doctors were responsible for certifying tens of thousands of patients for MMJ, a finding that raises questions about the state’s oversight of the industry.

An audit by the state of Michigan released Thursday found that one physician certified more than 11,800 medical marijuana patients in one year, or about 14% of all the medical cannabis patients in the state.

Another 22 doctors certified almost 47,000 patients in 2015, or…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Week in Review: Michigan Medical Cannabis Firms in Limbo, MA to the Rescue, Alaska Crawls Ahead

weeklywrapupimage

By John Schroyer and Omar Sacirbey

Michigan medical marijuana businesses ponder their future under a new regulatory system, Massachusetts hopes to jump-start its MMJ program, and Alaska’s rec rollout proceeds at a snail’s pace.

Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

Mulling Michigan

Michigan’s MMJ businesses wonder how life will change after lawmakers approved a statewide regulatory system for the industry. Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the legislation.

What is clear: The…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Michigan Legislature Passes MMJ Industry Regulations

Michigan lawmakers at long last approved a set of sweeping regulations Wednesday for the state’s sizable medical marijuana industry, paving the way for a statewide oversight and licensing system for MMJ businesses.

For years, Michigan’s legislature had failed to agree on a regulatory system that would stabilize Michigan’s MMJ trade. But lawmakers were finally able to pass a package of five bills that would give legal protections to dispensaries, growers, edibles makers, and more, the Detroit Free Press reported.

MJBizCrashCourseThe new system,…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Michigan Poised to Approve Statewide MMJ Regulatory Scheme

3d map of michigan

By John Schroyer

Michigan is one of the last “Wild West” medical marijuana markets, but it’s poised to approve a statewide regulatory scheme advocates hope will bring stability to the MMJ industry.

State lawmakers could sign off as soon as this week on legislation to establish a statewide oversight and licensing system for MMJ businesses.

That’s something Michigan has lacked since voters legalized medical cannabis in 2008. Michigan’s freewheeling MMJ industry has been technically illegal since a 2011 ruling from the state Supreme…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Week in Review: Growth Potential in New York, Oregon Rec Market Red Hot & MI Stumbles

weeklywrapupimage

By John Schroyer

New York’s health department recommends doubling the size of the state’s medical marijuana industry, Oregon recreational applications flood in as adult-use sales skyrocket, and Michigan’s MJ legal limbo may persist a few more years.

Here’s a closer look at some notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week.

Doubling Down

In a rare move for a state agency, the New York State Department of Health this week issued a report recommending – among other things – that the number of MMJ business licenses

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Michigan Rec Campaign Loses Court Fight, May Not Make Ballot

Michigan residents may not get the opportunity to vote on legalizing recreational cannabis in November after a local judge rejected a pro-marijuana campaign’s effort to place an adult-use initiative on the statewide ballot.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello ruled on Tuesday the MILegalize campaign broke the rules by collecting signatures outside a traditional 180-day window, and therefore did not qualify for the November ballot, the Detroit News reported.

Borrello cited a 1986 Michigan state Supreme Court ruling that upheld…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Detroit: Despite Threatened MMJ Crackdown, It’s Business as Usual

michigan cannabis

By John Schroyer

A pair of restrictive zoning ordinances and new licensing procedures that took effect in March had threatened to shutter up to 75% of Detroit’s medical marijuana dispensaries.

But so far the MMJ industry’s worst fears haven’t materialized, and it’s business as usual for most storefronts, industry insiders say.

“Many of the distribution centers that we feared would be closed by now are still open,” said Rick Thompson, editor of the marijuana website Compassion Chronicles and a board member of Michigan NORML, a…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


MI Lawmakers Again Fail to Legalize MMJ Dispensaries

Michigan medical marijuana dispensaries will continue to operate in a legal gray area for at least the rest of the summer, after state lawmakers left the capital for an extended recess without addressing the issue.

Lawmakers have repeatedly tried, but failed, for several years running to approve legislation that would formally legalize MMJ dispensaries. Lawmakers won’t return to the capital Lansing until September, MLive.com reported.

The state Senate had been scheduled to take up a…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Michigan Officials Nix Campaign’s Rec Marijuana Ballot Petition

A Michigan campaign with an eye on legalizing adult-use cannabis in November is promising legal action against the state after the Bureau of Elections rejected its petition to get a spot on the fall ballot.

MILegalize, which submitted roughly 354,000 signatures less than a week ago, was informed Tuesday that it’s about 106,000 signatures short of the required 252,523 it needs to qualify for the ballot.

But campaign leaders vowed to keep fighting, and said they expected to wind up in court,…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


MI Rec Marijuana Campaign Submits Signatures for Nov. Ballot

Michigan voters got a little bit closer to having the chance to decide whether or not to legalize adult-use cannabis this November, when a recreational campaign submitted roughly 100,000 more signatures than needed to qualify for the ballot.

Jeffrey Hank, chair of MILegalize, said in an email that the campaign on Wednesday turned in to the secretary of state’s office about 354,000 signatures in support of their initiative. The threshold for making the ballot is 252,523 signatures of…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


MI Dispensary Owners Consider Suing Over Raid

A husband and wife team that owns a locally licensed dispensary in Michigan is considering suing the county whose officers raided their home 19 months ago, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Annette and Dale Shattuck assert that even though the St. Claire County Drug Task Force returned most of the property it seized from the family in July 2014 after a raid, it’s not enough to compensate for the wrongs committed against them. Not all their belongings were returned, some of what was…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Dispensary Raids Ramping Up Across Michigan

In the past week, law enforcement raids against Michigan medical cannabis dispensaries have been ramping up, and storefronts all across the state have been targeted.

In total, at least 16 dispensaries have been hit by various law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, multiple sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police. All of the raids are tied to allegations that the dispensaries were knowingly selling cannabis to individuals who were not registered…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Detroit Dispensaries on Edge as Licensing Nears

Detroit dispensary

By John Schroyer

DETROIT – “Don’t even apply for a license. You won’t even get through the zoning.”

Those were Detroit attorney Matt Abel’s words of advice on Tuesday to Melanie Faison, who runs the Miles Green Acres medical cannabis caregiver center on the north-central side of the city.

Faison took the message to heart. She’s going to focus on helping gather signatures to halt (at least temporarily) the upcoming dispensary permitting process the city is set to start next…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Detroit Dispensaries Being Raided?

The Detroit Police Department apparently doesn’t want to wait for area dispensaries to be licensed: it’s apparently been raiding a bunch of them anyway.

“More than a dozen” dispensaries have been raided by local cops within the last two weeks, according to the Compassion Chronicles, despite the fact that the city is planning on licensing local businesses beginning on March 1.

No names of raided dispensaries have been released, but multiple attorneys representing the businesses have…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Detroit Dispensaries Get 30-day Window to Apply for Licenses

More than 200 medical cannabis dispensaries in Detroit will have from March 1-31 to apply for a license to legally operate in the city.

Dispensaries that don’t meet the deadline or requirements will be closed, said Melvin Butch Hollowell, the city’s highest ranking lawyer. Hollowell announced the plan Tuesday, and said notices went out to the 211 dispensaries that will be required to apply or close, according to The Detroit News.

The rules are part of ordinances approved last year by…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Third Michigan Marijuana Measure Clears Initial Hurdle

Michigan election officials have approved the language of a third ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Abrogate Prohibition Michigan must now gather 315,000 legitimate petition signatures to get its ballot initiative in front of voters next November.

While the competing measures suggest strong interest in recreational marijuana legalization – with polls showing solid support – there are also concerns that having more than one measure on the ballot could…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Detroit Zoning Ordinance Expected to Shutter 50% of Dispensaries

Up to half of Detroit’s roughly 150 medical marijuana dispensaries could close following a Detroit City Council vote on Thursday to approve a restrictive zoning ordinance.

Under the new ordinance, which goes into effect March 1, there are 651 parcels where a dispensary could set up shop. The dispensaries can locate in four types of industrial zones, and two types of commercial zones, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.

Under the new rules, medical marijuana businesses must be 1,000…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Detroit Dispensaries Have a New Enemy: Local Churches

Medical cannabis dispensaries in the Detroit metro area have a new foe: vocal Christian pastors who don’t like marijuana businesses.

A group of pastors held an anti-dispensary rally Monday night in the city, in advance of a city council meeting on Thursday that’s intended to finalize a zoning ordinance for MMJ businesses.

But the pastors won’t hear of it.

“We’re saying no more,” said one, who’s unhappy that there are two dispensaries on the same block as his church.

The group…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …


Trio of Michigan MMJ Dispensaries Raided

Three medical cannabis dispensaries just northeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan, were raided and at least one was shuttered by local law enforcement this week.

Police maintain that all three were selling cannabis illegally, and the raids occurred only after they conducted sting operations at each business. No arrests were made during the raids, but criminal charges could be filed, the undersheriff said.

An undersheriff told a local police station that the undercover stings began after their…

CONTINUE READING: Click Here to Continue Reading Article …