Michigan Marijuana News

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– A marijuana expo at the 5 & Dime Dispensary was raided by Detroit Police Friday night on the city’s westside.

An 8th annual THC Expo that was advertised on Facebook as even being family friendly. People would check in at the Rooster tail for the first part of the expo then take a bus over to the second expo location at the dispensary.

Many people were inside when the place was raided. Drugs, guns, and cash were confiscated and three people arrested.  

We spoke with a vendor who was there when the place was raided.

“Some kids come running through yelling it’s a raid, within two seconds over 25 armed officers dressed like swat helmets, bullet proof vest and they had flashlights and rifles they had mask on their face you could only see their eyes and they screamed at everyone to get down on the ground,” THC expo vendor Andy Bongers said. 

Lt. John Parnell says the expo itself was not the issue.

“There’s no issue with the expo but what was problematic was the identification of medicating facilities,” Parnell said. 

Police say the 8th Annual THC Expo was in violation of Michigan State Law. Michigan is a medical marijuana state but it’s not a recreational marijuana state like Colorado.

“We were able confiscate 300-500 pounds of marijuana along with a significant amount of cash along with edibles, liquids, which are clearly beyond the medical marijuana guidelines,” Parnell said.

But the vendor we spoke with said the organizer assured him and other vendors that the expo met all the state guidelines. 

“We lost about $475 in cash and most of that was money we took out our own pockets to build this. We didn’t hardly sell anything when we got there,” Bongers said.

Fox 2 was able

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In a comprehensive, 187-page report on the status of access for medical marijuana patients in the US, seven states received a grade of B+, the highest score given this year.

California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Oregon were recognized as the best states for patients. Californi, Michigan and Illinois were repeat winners from last year.

The report, “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States,” was released by Americans For Safe Access, a 15-year-old organization whose mission is to “ensure safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.”

No state was given an “A” grade and 16 states received “F” grades, 1o of those states from the South. All states that received a failing grade limit their medical cannabis program to cannabidiol, an extract of the marijuana plant.

Five states — Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota — did not even qualify for a grade since they do not have medical marijuana laws.

The categories states are graded on include:

Patient Rights and Civil Protection Access to Medicine Ease of Navigation Functionality Consumer Safety and Provider Requirements

“We want lawmakers to use this report to see that there are gaps in their medical cannabis programs. Even programs that have been around for decades like California still have room for improvement,“ said Steph Sherer, Executive Director for Americans for Safe Access. “Research has shown us that there can be as much as a 40% decrease in opioid overdose deaths in states with medical cannabis dispensaries. States with effective medical cannabis programs can save lives, and this report lays out the steps to increase program effectiveness.”

The report reviewed existing laws and regulations, and laws passed in between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017.  This year’s report, unlike previous versions, urges states to improve their programs to use medical cannabis as a tool

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DETROIT (AP) — Michigan officials have shuttered 40 medical marijuana businesses that were operating without valid licenses and they’re expected to warn hundreds of others that they could be next.

The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs started the process of closing down facilities Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“Any business that didn’t apply for a license by Feb. 15 isn’t in compliance with the emergency rules that were set up,” said David Harns, spokesman for the department.

The emergency rules allow businesses that have applied for a state operating license to temporarily operate under certain conditions.

Hundreds more businesses are expected to receive cease and desist letters in the coming days. Authorities didn’t confiscate products when delivering the letters, Harns said.

The letter said those who refuse to shut down risk being unable to receive a license in the future and could face penalties or sanctions.

Michigan voters passed a medical marijuana law in 2008, which allowed caregivers to grow a small amount of the plant for patients with medical marijuana cards. More than 277,000 people have medical marijuana cards in Michigan.

The Legislature passed bills in 2016 to regulate and tax medical marijuana.

The state began accepting license applications in December and is running background checks on business owners. The Medical Marijuana Licensing Board will meet next week to consider more applications, but licenses likely won’t be given out until April.

Licenses fall into five categories: growers, processors, testing facilities, secure transporters and dispensaries. More than 370 businesses have pre-qualified for a license and need to get approval from a local community. Nearly 120 other applications have been submitted with approval from a local community.

The industry is expected to have annual revenue of more than $700 million, a figure that could increase dramatically if the

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Several people were arrested Friday night after police raided an east-side licensed medical marijuana dispensary that was hosting what authorities described as a “flea market” selling a variety of cannabis-laced foods.(Photo: Nicquel Terry / The Detroit News)Buy Photo

Detroit — Several people were arrested Friday night after police raided an east-side licensed medical marijuana dispensary that was hosting what authorities described as a “flea market” selling a variety of cannabis-laced foods.

Police say about 150 customers were at Five & Dime dispensary on the 2000 block of Dwyer when they arrived at about 7 p.m. Many of them were not medical marijuana patients.

The business had several tables displaying brownies, cookies, bottled juices and candy all laced with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — the chemical compound in marijuana that causes a euphoric high, authorities say.

Several other marijuana dispensaries had vendor tables set up selling the items.

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Several other marijuana dispensaries had vendor tables set up selling the items. (Photo: Nicquel Terry / The Detroit News)

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Police say about 150 customers were at Five & Dime dispensary on the 2000 block of Dwyer. (Photo: Nicquel Terry / The Detroit News)

“This was more of a recreational setup,” Lt. Jonathan Parnell said. “It went beyond the medical marijuana guidelines.”

Lt. Jonathan Parnell said police made three felony arrests and six misdemeanor arrests of people who were operating the event. Six weapons were recovered from the scene.

Authorities also seized 3,500 pounds of marijuana in different forms and several hundred thousand dollars.

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Authorities also seized 3,500 pounds of marijuana in different forms and several hundred thousand dollars. (Photo: Nicquel Terry / The Detroit News)

Parnell said Five & Dime is listed under the state registry as a medical

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With the possibility of Michiganders voting on marijuana legalization in November, a Grand Rapids-based clinic is keeping an eye on legislation that could affect its bottom line.

The Society of Healing Arts Institute (SOHAI) — at 1505 Lake Drive SE in Grand Rapids, with a second site in Roosevelt Park — opened on April 20, 2012, or 4/20, as co-owners Paul Farage and Tony Holmes pointed out.

Farage said the clinic was born out of frustration with Michigan’s fledgling medical marijuana certification process.

“What happened was we went to get certified as medical marijuana cardholders in 2012, and it was a very seedy, back-alley-abortion-clinic kind of atmosphere,” Farage said.

“It was in a hotel and packed with people. I paid $250 for a certification, and it did not include anything besides the doctor visit, not the state fees or application. It was so impersonal, and we thought, ‘What if we went into business and did it better?’”

Farage said SOHAI has grown every year compared to the previous year.

“From 2016 to 2017, we saw an additional 1,200 patients and increased our retail by $70,000,” he said.

Farage added it’s hard to plan for expansion. If the state legalizes recreational use, the need for clinics and dispensaries could disappear.

“You’ll be able to buy marijuana in a party store,” he said.

He also said one of the changes predicted for the industry is marijuana’s removal from the Schedule 1 drugs roster, which includes heroin, LSD and ecstasy but excludes methamphetamines, cocaine and opioids.

“I’m willing to bet by the end of 2018, marijuana will not be a Schedule 1 drug,” Farage said. “Our business could come to an end, but we will transition into something else. Hospital education or niche markets where people specialize in specific types of marijuana.”


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March 16, 2018

Forty medical marijuana businesses are being forced to shut down in Michigan.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs delivered cease and desist letter to facilities operating illegally or to those that failed to submit an application for licenses.

The department spokesman says authorities did not confiscate products when delivering the letters, but hundreds more businesses are expected to receive cease and desist letters in the next few days.

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Three people are hospitalized, one of whom is fighting for their life, after a high-speed rollover crash along I-75 in Detroit.

The accident happened around 4 a.m. Friday on southbound I-75 just south of the Holbrook Avenue overpass.

According to Michigan State Police, a SUV was travelling at a high rate of speed when the driver lost control, swerved into the path of a semi-truck and was struck. The SUV then rolled over and struck the embankment.

A container on the semi also slid off the truck, spilling metal parts out onto the freeway.

I-75 S at Holbrook: Clean-up of SUV roll-over and contents spill from a dumpster-type container on a roll-back/roll-off mid-size commercial truck. Traffic getting by in left two lanes. No info yet on injuries, cause. Traffic and Weather Together on WWJ NewsRadio 950 AM. @WWJ950 pic.twitter.com/ZF4yZRRdZg

— Mike Campbell (@reportermikec) March 16, 2018

Three people were transported to the hospital from the SUV. The driver and one passenger have minor injuries, while another passenger is in critical condition. The truck driver was uninjured.

During the crash investigation, police say troopers located marijuana and a stolen gun. An investigation is ongoing.

It took crews about four hours to clear the debris from the roadway before reopening all lanes to traffic.

Know before you go! Keep it tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for the latest forecast during traffic and weather, every 10 minutes on the 8s. See live, local radar at this link; and check for accidents on local freeways here.

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The Reef, a medical marijuana dispensary in Detroit, offers about 60 different strains in September 2017.(Photo: Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo

Forty medical marijuana businesses across Michigan got an unpleasant visit Thursday from state officials and the Michigan State Police, ordering them to stop operating.

And those visits are just the beginning. Hundreds more are expected to get cease and desist letters in the coming days.

The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs began the process of shutting down medical marijuana facilities that are operating illegally and haven’t submitted applications to the state for a license.

“Any business that didn’t apply for a license by Feb. 15 isn’t in compliance with the emergency rules that were set up,” said David Harns, spokesman for the department. “We did 40 today all throughout the state and there will be hundreds more.”

Harns wouldn’t say what kind of businesses got the cease and desist letters or how the state had identified them, but most were probably dispensaries that have been operating outside of Michigan’s medical marijuana laws.

More: Detroit could miss out on millions from medical marijuana

More: Michigan towns poised to become medical marijuana hubs

The emergency rules “permits an applicant for a state operating license to temporarily operate a proposed marijuana facility under certain conditions,” the cease and desist letter read. “In order to comply with this rule, a temporarily operating facility must have applied for a state operating license by February 15. … A person that does not comply with this rule shall cease and desist operation of a proposed marijuana facility.”

If the business owner doesn’t shut down, he or she risks not being able to get a license at all from the state, the letter said, and could also result in a

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Michigan voters may have the chance to determine big changes to some state policies come November, when signature-tested ballot initiatives may well appear in the midterm elections.

Two proposals — to legalize recreational marijuana, and to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law — are waiting for signature review by the state Bureau of Elections. Representatives for and against each proposal convened in East Lansing on Wednesday at the Center for Michigan’s Solutions Summit to talk about the issues.

Related: Michigan prevailing wage law repeal petition will undergo second signature review
Related: Which 2018 Michigan ballot issues are going strong. Or going down

Josh Hovey represented the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which would make marijuana legal for recreational use with many similar guidelines currently applied to alcohol in Michigan. Healthy and Productive Michigan is a group organizing to oppose the proposal, represented by Matthew Yascolt.

Marijuana legalization would bring tax revenue exceeding $200 million to the state and job opportunities within an above-board industry, Hovey said. He added that support for recreational marijuana legalization is high, and national trends indicate legalization is inevitable.

“Sweeping it under the rug and driving a black market isn’t the way to go,” he said. “Let’s shed some light on the issue and deal with it like adults.”

Yascolt countered that health risks are associated with marijuana, which he said is a “gateway” to harder drug use. It’s an addictive substance that will be marketed similarly to tobacco, and ultimately the proposal is about industrializing marijuana. He said, “this is about rich people getting richer.”

Related: 2018 Michigan Solution Summits ‒ Reserve your seat today!
Related: Be a part of the 2018 Michigan Truth Tour​

The state’s prevailing wage law has essentially required union scale wages and benefits on state building projects for more than 50 years. Jeff Wiggins

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BUCHANAN — Michigan’s new commercial medical marijuana industry is poised for spring growth next week as the state begins the process of approving business licenses.

The medical marijuana licensing board is set to consider a few prequalification business applications at its March 22 meeting, and “in theory” could start granting some final approvals as early as April, according to David Harns, public information officer at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

That’s exciting news for proposed businesses in the area, some of which have local approvals in place and are waiting for the state’s OK to move forward.

One potential area dispensary, The Tree House Compassion Center, could open in June or July “if we’re lucky,” owner Billy Breen said Wednesday.

He said his facility at 259 E. Front St. in Buchanan — where he plans to carry balms, tinctures and edibles, as well as cannabis buds — should be ready for state inspection, a final step for approval, by the end of next week. He received city approval in January. But Breen doesn’t know when his application might be heard by the state, or when he might be able to start stocking his shelves with approved products.

Meanwhile, more businesses could be on the way in the area.

The Buchanan planning commission learned Tuesday night that three more medical marijuana businesses are interested in locating in the city, in addition to more than five already in some stage of application approval. Niles awarded seven provisional business licenses in December. And Galien Township just hung its “open for business” sign for medical cannabis — and could even see some competition over licenses.

In 2016, Michigan created a commercial system for medical marijuana, including

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