marijuana legalization

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Recreational marijuana businesses are still banned in the village of Vanderbilt. A measure to reverse that ban failed by a vote of 72 to 84 Tuesday, according to unofficial election results.

 

Today on Stateside, we talk to Governor Gretchen Whitmer about how the challenges her plan to "fix the damn roads" faces in the Legislature. Plus, we learn about Aldo Leopold, a father of wildlife ecology, and his connection to Les Cheneaux Islands in Lake Huron.

Medical marijuana lottery selection
Taylor Wizner

A lottery was held in Traverse City on Friday to hand out licenses for medical marjiuana centers. The city clerk selected the winners by lottery out of 72 applicants.

Valerie Rissi’s eyes lit up when her business was called.

Rissi was retired until her daughter convinced her to apply for a licence for a medical marijuana center. She worked on her application for over two years

"I thought 13 of 72, what’s your odds? Not real well, but that’s why it’s the lottery," she says.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan this year, but many cities across the state aren’t letting marijuana businesses operate. Some officials argue that the state hasn’t figured out how to regulate them yet.

But a small community in northern Michigan is in the middle of a legal and political debate that could set a precedent for the rest of the state.

Max Pixel

State lawmakers want to put in place a final deadline for medical marijuana facilities to get a license, or not be able to stay open.

A state House committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday. It gives a June 1st deadline for facilities – and if they stay open without a license, the facility can’t get a license for a year.

TheraCann

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical in marijuana that gets you high. For a long time in Michigan, you could face criminal charges for driving with it in your system.

TheraCann

Lake Superior State University is offering what they call the nation’s first 'Cannabis Chemistry' degrees.

For example students can take classes on the preparation and hydration of cannabis, also known as marijuana, as part of their degree. University President Rodney Hanley says the curriculum is no joke.

“This is not a slouchy education that you get here, and it’s certainly not some stereotyped thing around cannabis or something like that," Hanley says. "This is very much a high-quality, analytical chemistry program.”

THERACANN

Recreational Marijuana became legal in Michigan on Dec. 6, 2018. Otsego County Prosecuting Attorney Brendan Curran says he welcomed it.

“We have a significant drug problem here, and that problem is not marijuana. That problem is drugs that kill people” Curran says. “That’s what I’ve intended to focus as much resources as possible on.”

THERACANN

Traverse City won't allow recreational marijuana businesses in city limits.

The state hasn't finalized the licensing regulations for recreational marijuana businesses yet.

TheraCann

East Jordan is considering an ordinance that would restrict legal marijuana use. It would ban it on public property and stop dispensaries from opening within city limits.

 


Michigan residents will vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana November 9. 

The state has strict laws against driving while drunk, and cops can test how intoxicated someone is with a quick breathalyzer test. 

But if weed is legalized, how will law enforcement identify someone who is driving while high? 

People who want a license to grow or sell medical marijuana in Michigan have yet more uncertainty to deal with when it comes to getting licensed.

 

TheraCann

A Canadian company that wanted to build a $20 million medical marijuana facility in Kingsley has changed its plans. TheraCann says it still wants to do business in Michigan - just not in Kingsley.

Several ballot proposals for Michigan’s 2018 election crossed a hurdle Thursday.

The Board of State Canvassers approved the form of proposals on earned sick time, marijuana legalization and redistricting.

That doesn’t mean the board guarantees the content of the ballots will hold up against lawsuits. But it makes sure the campaign won’t succumb to a challenge in front of the board on technical issues after they gather signatures.

People with clipboards are prowling streets across Michigan these days. They’re on the hunt for signatures for ballot initiatives. The campaigns are also collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for their efforts. 

The new state medical marijuana licensing board met for the first time Monday.

The meeting was mainly for the board to hear public comment about how the new medical marijuana program should operate. It won’t start issuing licenses until next year.

John Kroneck came to the meeting to represent the Michigan Prevention Association. That group is concerned about potential consequences of expanding the medical marijuana system.

New medical marijuana laws mean that by this time next year, things will be very different for the medical marijuana industry in Michigan. The state will be handing out licenses to growers, testing facilities, transporters and dispensaries.

That means the state will have to regulate and license this business as it expands.

It will also mean new taxes. Some predict that the medical marijuana industry could generate revenues topping $700 million in Michigan.

 


From an early-morning fixture on Detroit television to an advocate for legalized marijuana in Michigan, Anqunette Jamison has made quite a transition.

The former Fox 2 Detroit anchorwoman walked away from her TV job to become a volunteer for MI Legalize, one of the groups that’s been fighting to put the question of legalization before Michigan voters.

She’s got a very personal stake in the fight for legalization: Jamison uses marijuana to help with her multiple sclerosis.

 

MI Legalize, a group trying to legalize marijuana in the state, is making the court its battleground. The group is hoping to get the question of marijuana legalization on the November ballot.

Michigan Radio and Public Sector Consultants conducted a poll of 600 likely voters from Aug. 4-8 about how they felt financially, possible changes in redistricting, and the potential legalization of recreational marijuana.

In terms of those saying they're better off, Jeff Williams, CEO of Public Sector Consultants says things look relatively "rosy" for Michigan. More than half say they're "about the same," and around a quarter of them say they're "better off."

We’ve reviewed the movements pushing for marijuana legalization in Michigan, we’ve taken a look at how legal pot has treated Colorado, and we’ve heard the viewpoint of a medical marijuana caregiver in Ann Arbor.

Today, we get the law enforcement perspective.