Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board will meet Tuesday and could vote to close the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries until mid-December.
The potential pause is the result of a 2013 state Supreme Court ruling that labeled dispensaries a public nuisance and called into question their legality. Now, more than four years later, the licensing board is attempting to act on the ruling. New state regulations for licensing are scheduled to kick in on Dec. 15, and board members have indicated they will attempt to shut down Michigan’s medical cannabis program until that time.
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Board member Don Bailey introduced the closure motion at an Aug. 21 meeting at which he referenced the Supreme Court ruling and said he believed all dispensaries are currently operating in violation of state law. That sentiment was echoed by board chair Rick Johnson.
While the board has so far postponed action on the motion, members will have another chance to act when the five-member committee reconvenes on Tuesday.
That meeting will come almost exactly a year after the matter was addressed by the Michigan State Senate, which hastily passed legislation on Sept. 9 of last year to clear up the gray area created by the 2013 Supreme Court ruling. In total, lawmakers passed three bills to address questions around dispensaries, edibles, and seed-to-sale tracking systems. The bills’ passage led to the new regulations set to take effect in December.
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But with just three months to go until the regulations kick in, Bailey’s introduced motion would require that all dispensaries temporarily close in order to be eligible for licenses come December.
With one member