MICHIGAN — The Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association, which represents many of the state’s largest corporate cannabis companies, is applauding bills proposed last week in the state House that seek to improve cannabis safety testing.
Called the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act, the three bills seek to regulate and rein in untested, unlicensed growers by requiring all cannabis to be tested, tracked, and labeled for consumers.
Under the current state law a medical cannabis caregiver can grow cannabis plants for their self and up to five patients for a total of 72 plants.
Caregivers do not have to test, track, or label their products before giving it to or selling to patients.
When the state approved recreational cannabis the Marijuana Regulatory Agency allowed caregivers to sell their extra product to retailers as the supply of legal cannabis in Michigan was severely behind demand.
But as production caught up the MRA phased out caregivers being allowed to sell to retailers.
The three bills would allow caregivers to sell their excess product again but at the expense of an overhaul to the caregiver-patient system used in Michigan.
That would greatly disrupt a system that has been in place for years.
Caregivers would only be allowed to grow their personal plants and plants for one patient, making a caregiver’s career much less lucrative.
Some caregivers say the proposed legislation is intended to force small cannabis growers out of the legal market in Michigan by overregulating the industry in favor of corporate interests.
Many are willing to test their cannabis products, but say testing a single sample often costs several hundred dollars and labs that do the testing are few and far between.
Some of those caregivers say they would be forced to end their business that’s taken years to build and turn to selling on the black market.
That takes tax revenue away from the state.
According to the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association purchases of cannabis through the black market are still the primary way Michiganders buy their cannabis.
About 70 percent of the cannabis sold in the state is not through a legal retailer.
A group called Michigan Caregivers United has already organized rallies at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing to voice opposition to the changes in question.
Follow FOX 17: Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – YouTube