WSBT 22 News —
Over the last year-and-a-half, communities in Michigan have had to make a decision: do they want medical marijuana in their town?
Niles and Buchanan are just two places that have decided to give it a try.
The towns are now waiting on the state.
Michigan began accepting applications for medical marijuana businesses on December 15th.
Until the state gives the go-ahead, local communities are trying to figure out exactly what the medical marijuana program will look like.
The city of Ann Arbor is already familiar with medical marijuana businesses.
The dispensary, Om of Medicine, opened there in 2010.
Co-founder Mark Passerini says he and his partner opened with the goal of helping people.
“For us, it’s seeing the patients being able to wean themselves off of opioids, get healthier, get better is why we do it,” said Passerini.
They run things a little diferrently at Om of Medicine. Patients are shown their options in a one-on-one setting.
Passerini said he wanted to create a dispensary his grandmother would feel comfortable in.
Chief Medical Officer Evangelos Litinas helps explain to patients what type of marijuana will work best for their condition.
He has a medical degree and an MBA in healthcare management from Loyola University.
“Admittedly, it’s not for everyone, like any other medication really,” said Litinas.
However, marijuana is different from other medications in that it is illegally federally.
Passerini admits they’ve been operating in a grey area.
“When we first decided to do this, my mother was very worried that we would be thrown in jail,” said Passerini.
He says over the past eight years that worry has faded.
Passerini says they’ve been welcomed in Ann Arbor. They’ve worked with the University of Michigan, and were given their own plaque on Main Street.
Ann Arbor is