July 10, 2018, Michigan
Even though the licensing of MMJ dispensaries in Michigan is experiencing severe red-tapping, but still the state is moving forward with a robust medical cannabis program. In the latest development, the state has increased the number of medical conditions for which one can get the permit to administer medical cannabis.
Even before the expansion of the qualifying list, Michigan’s MMJ program had several medical conditions in its qualifying list. For instance, cancer, HIV, glaucoma, and PTSD were already part of the program. These qualifying conditions are covering a substantial number of patients in the state. However, there was always the demand for expanding the list to make the program beneficial to more patients. The state’ department of health has included nine new medical conditions to the qualifying list. The newly added medical conditions are:
- Chronic pain
- Colitis and ulcerative colitis
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tourette‘s syndrome
- Spinal Injuries
As per reported by the local media, the expansion of qualifying list has gone into immediate effect. Any patient suffering from any of the above-mentioned medical condition is now eligible to apply for MMJ cards in the state. Prior to this expansion, 11 other medical and psychological conditions were also under consideration including asthma, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and some other conditions to be included in the list.
It is important to note that Michigan has been in sort of an MMJ quagmire since last year when the state’s department of health decided to start the licensing and regulation process of dispensaries. The state took this decision to manage the operations of an ever-increasing number of MMJ dispensaries. It was also discussed to shut down all the dispensaries and start over the process. However, the relentless resistance from owners, patients, activists, and lawyers deterred the authorities to start from the scratch.
Nonetheless, the regulators have implemented several prohibitions for MMJ stores. For instance, the owners can’t use the word ‘dispensary’ anymore in the name of their establishment. They can call themselves ‘provisioning center’ only. Besides that, MMJ store owners have been prohibited to use more than a dozen words in their promotion and other business-related dealings.
The route to the Legalization of Recreational Cannabis
Cannabis activists were trying for years to get the question of recreational legalization on the public ballot. In April this year, they finally succeeded in gathering the requisite signatures to make the proposal a part of coming ballot in November. The State Board of Canvassers has confirmed this. According to Michigan’s local laws, the state legislators had 40 days to raise their concerns on the proposal. This period has already expired in June. This means the question of adult-use legalization will be there in November ballot.
Different polls and surveys suggest that the majority of Michiganders are in favor of adult-use legalization of cannabis. One has to wait and watch whether this public support will translate into votes in the favor of the measure.