mike callton

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Michigan: House Approves Return of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Edibles


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Michigan House on Thursday passed legislation to allow medical marijuana dispensaries as part of the state's medical marijuana program, as well as a bill allowing the sale of cannabis-infused edibles.

Dispensaries had operated in the state until a Supreme Court ruling in February that allowed county prosecutors to shut the shops down as "public nuisances," reports Jonathan Oosting at Mlive.com.

A bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) approved Thursday on a 95-14 vote would allow the return of dispensaries -- called "provisioning centers" in the bill -- but would allow cities to ban them.

Dispensaries would be required to provide test results showing the marijuana they sell is free of contaminants. Edibles would have to be "clearly labeled."

House Bill 4271 would also ban on-premises growing or use of marijuana at the shops, and would prevent dispensaries from opening within 1,000 feet of schools.

After getting input from municipalities and law enforcement, Callton said those groups no longer oppose the bill, which he said is a way to improve safe access and patient care.

"If you get your recommendation from a doctor, instead of waiting four to six months for someone to grow plants for you -- and you may be dead by then -- you'll be able to go right away to a provisioning center and get the medicine you need," Callton said on Tuesday.

Michigan: House Panel Approves Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Edibles


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana dispensaries -- declared illegal by the Michigan Supreme Court, despite a 2008 law approved by voters -- may be returning to the state under a proposal headed to the House floor.

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved bills that would update Michigan's medical marijuana law to allow safe access through dispensaries, and to allow more parts of the cannabis plant to be used in edibles, reports Jonathan Oosting at Mlive.com.

In a separate vote, the panel also approved 8-1-2 (with two Democrats passing) a proposal to create a separate "pharmaceutical-grade cannabis" designation in case the federal government ever reclassifies marijuana as a Schedule II controlled substance allowed for medical use. That actually paves the way for a possible eventual Big Pharma takeover of the medical marijuana business, according to some observers of the scene.

Cannabis is currently classified as Schedule I under federal law, meaning, by definition, that it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical uses, despite the fact that the federal government holds a patent -- Patent No. 663057 -- on the medical uses of cannabis.

House Bill 4271, introduced by Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) would let towns decide whether they want to allow dispensaries. The safe access points had operated in Michigan until February, when the Michigan Supreme Court said they were illegal.

Michigan: Legislators Propose Selling Marijuana Through Pharmacies


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Some Michigan lawmakers want medical marijuana -- legalized by state voters five years ago -- to be sold through pharmacies.

Claiming it's time to bring cannabis "into the fold of the health care industry so patients can buy it at their corner pharmacy," Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw Township) and others are backing a bill approved by a state Senate committee last week which would prepare the way for "pharmaceutical grade" cannabis sales, reports David Eggert at The Associated Press.

The measure would create a second system of access to medical marijuana in Michigan, one that its backers say "would not interfere" with the existing law, under which patients can grow their own cannabis or obtain it from designated caregivers. (Of course, the patients of Washington state would be quick to warn folks in other places about a "second system" promised to "not interfere" with safe access, since that's not been the case with I-502 "legalization" there.)

Safe access to medicinal cannabis has been iffy in the state since a Michigan Supreme Court decision which effectively declared dispensaries illegal, by ruling they weren't covered in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

Michigan: Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Introduced With Bipartisan Support

(Illustration: The Daily Chronic)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would make the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana a civil infraction punishable by a fine, rather than a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

"We know, and the people here in Michigan know, that marijuana prohibition is not working," Irwin said during a press conference at the Capitol, reports Jonathan Oosting at Mlive.com.

"Despite the fact that we're spending a minimum of $325 million a year on arresting, trying and incarcerating marijuana users in this state, we know marijuana has never been more available," Irwin said. "We know that law enforcement has not been successful at keeping marijuana out of the hands of anyone in the state."

Irwin has at least two Republican cosponsors for the bill; joining him at a press conference were Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright (D-Muskegon), Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) and Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville).

"This is the right time to have this debate in Michigan," Rep. Shirkey said. "We're using a lot of money, energy and resources in Michigan and across the nation to accomplish something we've failed at.

Michigan: Changes To Medical Marijuana Law Take Effect Monday

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Some of the first big changes to Michigan's 2008 voter-approved medical marijuana law take effect on Monday, including extending the one-year registry cards to two years and further defining the doctor-patient relationship necessary for authorization.

An overwhelming 63 percent of Michigan's voters approved the medical marijuana law, but lawmakers claimed it left too much open to interpretation and passed measures at the end of last session which were supposed to "clarify" the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

The doctor-patient relationship needed for an authorization before marijuana can be legally used was one of the biggest issues faced by the Legislature, reports Alanna Durkin at The Associated Press. Lawmakers were concerned that it was just too easy to get authorizized to use cannabis.

But starting Monday, April 1, doctors are required to complete face-to-face medical evaluations of patients, review relevant medical records, and assess their medical condition and history. Follow-up with patients to see whether marijuana is helping are also required.

The new rules will help doctors and patients by codifying what is expected throughout the medical marijuana authorization process, according to Michael Komorn, a Michigan attorney who specializes in medical marijuana law.

Michigan: House Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Photo - Michigan: House Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana DispensariesBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Michigan House of Representatives is considering a bill which would allow safe access for the state's medical marijuana patients through a system of dispensaries.

The Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act comes after a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that the transfer of medicinal cannabis between patients -- the kind that takes place in dispensaries -- is not covered or protected by the original Michigan Medical Marihuana Act approved by 63 percent of state voters in 2008.

Mike Callton (R-Nashville) said medical marijuana dispensaries are necessary for patients to have save access to the cannabis recommended by their doctors, reports Dan Lloyd of Heritage Media.

"Frankly, the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling necessitated this legislation," Callton said. "Now there are only two limited ways someone can access medical marijuana: Grow their own, or contract with a caregiver.

"Therefore, we need to allow for provisioning centers or patients will continue to suffer," Rep. Callton said. "The more educated people become about this issue, the more they understand the pressing need before us."

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