Changes Coming for Michigan Marijuana Laws?

The Detroit Free Press reports that marijuana business interests are preparing legislation that would make significant changes in how the market will operate.

Their sweeping proposal — which will face a tough climb in the Legislature because some changes would require a super-majority vote — would make the “gifting” of marijuana illegal; fundamentally change the caregiver system that has been in place since 2008 when voters legalized marijuana for medical use; reimpose the 3 percent excise tax on medical marijuana that ended on March 6; allow medical marijuana dispensaries to begin immediately selling marijuana for adult recreational use; require people who grow their own marijuana to register any heavy equipment they use with their local community, and allow unlicensed dispensaries to continue to operate through the end of the year.

…Applicants for marijuana business licenses have been frustrated by the pace and inconsistency in action taken by the state Medical Marijuana Licensing Board. Since the state started awarding licenses last summer, only 121 licenses have been approved. Of those license approvals, 105 — 31 growers, 11 processors, 54 dispensaries, four testing labs and 5 transporters — have paid their state regulatory assessments and actually been awarded licenses. The state has denied 41 license applications, as well as 125 applications seeking preliminary approval.

Minority groups have especially been worried that they’ll be left out of the lucrative market. The state doesn’t keep statistics on the demographics of people who have been granted or denied licenses, but many Detroit-based marijuana businesses have been denied licenses.

Read on for more in the Freep!