Dozens of unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries that have been pressured to shut firstly of the yr by Michigan regulators have acquired permission to reopen due to a scarcity of authorized hashish in the state. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board voted Four-Zero on Wednesday to permit these provisioning facilities, as they’re formally recognized, which might be in the method of making use of for a license from the state to resume operations till March 31.
On January 1, state officers closed 72 unlicensed dispensaries throughout the state and positioned restrictions on medical marijuana caregivers supplying product to the business. The actions have induced product shortages and a spike in hashish costs at licensed dispensaries. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer referred to as on the board to tackle the shortages in a press launch on Tuesday.
“We have heard from Michiganders closely affected by the ongoing transition to licensed marijuana facilities,” Whitmer stated. “It is important that we ensure that patients have access to their medicine while the medical marijuana industry continues to develop.”
Robin Schneider, the chief director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, stated on Tuesday that his group was working with the federal government to discover a answer to the scarcity.
“With almost no access left to medicine for patients and empty shelves in our member’s facilities, solutions need to be put in place immediately that allow patients to obtain their medicine,” stated Schneider. “We look forward to working with state regulators and Governor Whitmer’s administration to ensure a successful medical marijuana program and to develop long term strategies that will improve and expedite the business licensing process moving forward.”
Board Members Explain Vote
After Wednesday’s vote permitting dispensaries to reopen, board member Vivian Pickard stated that the board needed to be sure that medical marijuana sufferers have entry to hashish.
“I think this resolution takes this back to the intent of the law — and that is to get medicine to the people who need it,” stated Pickard.
Board chairman Rick Johnson agreed that entry was essential and expressed hope that licensed operators would give you the chance to adequately provide the hashish market by the point the momentary measure expires.
“We’re going to take care of patients and on the 31 of March I’m hopeful you all will be in the position to be in that process,” Johnson stated.
But Don Bailey, one other board member, stated he feared that persevering with to permit unlicensed hashish shops to function is enabling the black market.
“What we’ve done with these temporary operations for the past year and a half—we’ve expanded the black market. It’s an unintended consequence, but that’s exactly what’s happened,” Bailey stated. “For the black market we’ve contributed to—if we think that’s going to contract after April 1, it’s not.”