It was recently revealed that the newly instated state board in Michigan may close all medicinal dispensaries in the state in a move that has sparked public outcry. They say the reason for this potential closure is because of the sheer number of cannabis dispensaries across the state. But, can this feasibly happen?
It was back in 2008 when the Michigan public voted to approve the introduction of medicinal marijuana. In the years that have passed, hundreds of dispensaries have opened and it is not uncommon for 2 or more dispensaries to be found on a single block. This may not seem to be a problem for the vast majority of us who realize and appreciate the benefits that medicinal marijuana offers patients, but for those who are against the introduction of medicinal marijuana, they want to take immediate action. The state board has tabled a proposal for the immediate closure of all dispensaries. It will now have to wait until it receives a response from other agencies and state groups that have a say in such a matter before further action is taken.
But, are the state board out of touch with public feeling? It was only a few months back that a petition managed to gather support of 100,000 residents who supported the total legalization of cannabis across the state. There is also the annual festival in the state, known as “Hash Bash”, which attracts pro cannabis lobbyists from across the country. Whilst the state board is in charge of licensing new dispensaries for the state, they cannot in fact order the immediate closure of all currently licensed dispensaries. But, there is concern that the state board will in fact issue strict new regulations which make it very difficult for dispensaries to operate profitably. It’s unclear whether the state board have a problem with the concentration and number of dispensaries, or in fact they are just opposed to medicinal cannabis strains full stop.
Local dispensary owner Randy Johnson, said that the state board are looking to cut their nose off to spite their face. “The amount of tax dollars that are generated from the medicinal marijuana program are much needed in a time where the state deficit has grown. The state board should be looking for ways to advance the program further”.
The state board intends to take further action in the next few weeks, so people from across the states will be looking to Michigan with bated breath as they decide their future relationship with cannabis.