A recently conducted poll has found that most voters in the state of Michigan support medical cannabis being regulated at the same standards as recreational cannabis; the majority is also in favor of new laws.
More than a decade ago in 2008, voters in the state passed a medical cannabis measure that established state-registered cannabis growers who could offer marijuana to their state-registered patients. The poll was conducted by the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association (“MCMA”), which has supported various legislations that would change the state’s medical cannabis laws. This organization is made up of some of the biggest commercial businesses in Michigan’s cannabis industry.
The poll tested 10 new regulations, with broad support being earned for every legislation, both when they were tested together and when they were tested separately. However, those who support the current system are doubtful of the poll. Michigan National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws chapter director Rick Thompson stated that the report drew conclusions based off of numerical data they didn’t share, which isn’t how reliable results were usually presented. Thompson noted that this selective release exposed the association’s move as more of a PR action instead of a scientific study.
The report and poll were produced by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. MCMA representatives declined to comment on how much they spent on the poll. The lobbying trade organization also solicited a third-party analysis to support its claims. On behalf of MCMA, the Anderson Economic Group released a report in June stating that more than one-half of the state’s 2020 cannabis sales took place in the illicit market.
The source of the black market sales is the main disagreement, despite the fact that MCMA believes that most sales were by caregivers. Thompson explained that this insinuation by the organization that caregivers were responsible for the illicit market was unfounded, adding that marijuana sales between patients and caregivers were legally sanctified in law.
Currently, caregiver cannabis cannot be sold to individuals who aren’t registered patients and can’t be sold in the licensed market. In addition to this, it is exempt from the rules that apply to other commercial businesses.
The changes proposed by the MCMA would not only decrease the amount of harvested cannabis a caregiver may possess to from 15 ounces to five ounces, it will also decrease the total number of plants a caregiver can grow and the number of patients a caregiver can provide cannabis to, from five patients to a single patient.
Regardless of the changes that the law reform may product, cannabis industry players such as American Cannabis Partners can only hope that the operating environment in Michigan will continue to be conducive to industry growth.
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