MICHIGAN – The Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association, which represents many of the state’s largest cannabis companies, welcomes the legislative proposals that were tabled in the state house last week that aim to improve cannabis safety testing.
The three bills, known as the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act, aim to regulate and restrict untested, unlicensed breeders by requiring that all cannabis for consumers be tested, tracked, and labeled.
According to current state law, a medical cannabis keeper can grow cannabis plants for himself and up to five patients for a total of 72 plants.
Nurses do not need to test, track, or label their products before giving or selling them to patients.
When the state approved recreational cannabis, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency allowed caregivers to sell their additional product to retailers as the supply of legal cannabis in Michigan lagged significantly behind demand.
But when production caught up, the MRA issued that nurses were allowed to sell to retailers.
The three bills would allow caregivers to resell their surplus product, but at the expense of an overhaul of the nurse-patient system used in Michigan.
That would seriously disrupt a system that has existed for years.
Caregivers are only allowed to grow their personal plants and plants for one patient, which makes a caregiver’s career much less lucrative.
Some advocates say the proposed legislation is designed to drive small cannabis growers out of the legal market in Michigan by over-regulating the industry in favor of corporate interests.
Many are willing to test their cannabis products, but say that testing a single sample often costs several hundred dollars and laboratories that perform the tests are few.
Some of these caregivers say they would be forced to give up their business, which has been built up over years, and sell it on the black market.
This deprives the state of tax revenue.
According to the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association, buying cannabis on the black market is still the single most important way that Michigandians buy their cannabis.
About 70 percent of the cannabis sold in the state is not sold through a legal retailer.
A group called Michigan Caregivers United has already rallied at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing to speak out against the changes in question.
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