Michigan Legislature OKs bills to Ease Transfer of Marijuana

License requirements for spouses loosened.

This story has been republished with permission from Crain’s Detroit and written by David Eggert.

LANSING — Lawmakers on Tuesday gave final approval to bills that would authorize Michigan medical marijuana shops to transfer products to other provisioning centers and loosen regulations that require applicants for medical or recreational licenses to disclose information about their spouses.

The bills, which the House passed 93-9, 99-3 and 100-2, were sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her expected signatures.

Supporters have said the legislation would provide more flexibility for both marijuana processors and provisioning centers — retail stores that sell medical marijuana — to manage their products, creating parity with the recreational marijuana industry. If they had too much product, for instance, they could sell or transfer to another shop that was low on inventory.

Many licensees operate in both the medical and recreational markets.

The measures also would let applicants attest that their spouse would not control, direct or make decisions concerning the marijuana facility and would not have a conflict of interest. If an attestation was submitted, the state Cannabis Regulatory Agency could not conduct a background investigation of the spouse or require the spouse to apply for licensure.

Regulators could not deny an application solely because the spouse is a government employee or official. The application could only be rejected if the spouse’s position creates a conflict of interest or if he or she works within the Cannabis Regulatory Agency or another governmental unit that makes decisions regarding marijuana.

Backers have said the changes would clarify ambiguity that has resulted in applicants being denied because their spouse works in a branch of government unrelated to marijuana oversight.

One bill, which would amend a 2018 voter-approved law that legalized marijuana for recreational use, needed and got at least three-fourths support of both the House and Senate.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.


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