Social equity a key issue in cannabis legalization movement

Advocates for legalizing marijuana have long argued it would strike a blow for social justice after a decades-long drug war that disproportionately targeted minority and poor communities.

But social equity has been both a sticking point and selling point this year in New York and New Jersey, among other states weighing whether to join the 10 that allow recreational use of pot.

Complicating the law-making process, sometimes even among supporters, are questions about how best to erase marijuana convictions and ensure that people who were arrested for pot benefit from legal marijuana markets.


'Easier than placing an online order through Amazon:' Medical marijuana delivery service kicks off in Detroit

Utopia Gardens LLC started a new service Tuesday for its medical marijuana patients; front door delivery service.

"Some of our patients are sick and going through Chemotherapy etc. so it’s a more convenient way for them to be able to shop without having to leave their houses," said dispensary manager Donnell Cravens.

According to LARA, three licensed dispensaries or provisioning centers are now able to provide this service legally: Utopia Gardens LLC in Detroit, Lake Effect Group LLC in Portage, and BotaniQ in Detroit.

Patients are required to have their medical marijuana card verified and the product can only be delivered to the address on the card.


Michigan medical marijuana patients can now get approval, medication without delay

One more roadblock has been demolished that stood in the way of Michigan medical marijuana patients and reliable, safe access to cannabis treatment. On Wednesday, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (which oversees both medical and recreational cannabis in the state) announced that patients can use their approval email from registering in the program to buy cannabis, rather than waiting for a physical registry card to be sent in the mail.


Michigan's new marijuana agency will regulate a market in turmoil

When Michigan officially consolidates pot business oversight into the Marijuana Regulatory Agency on Tuesday, state officials will be expected to tackle tough issues that are roiling the medical and recreational marijuana markets. 

There are lingering fears among Michigan’s marijuana businesses about the viability of a fully licensed market that has yet to produce a steady, tested supply that can meet the needs of dozens of provisioning centers across the state. 


Michigan (finally) launching industrial hemp program

Michigan’s Governor and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) have launched the state’s Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program for the 2019 planting season.

The call has gone out to farmers, processors and institutions of higher learning to get involved.

 “This emerging crop not only cultivates new opportunity for our farming community, but it also creates an avenue for new businesses to crop up across the state,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.


How recreational marijuana is changing the way doctors care for patients

The legalization of recreational marijuana in a number of states is creating new research opportunities and challenges for doctors.

Because of the way cannabis is viewed by the Drug Enforcement Administration, federal law has severely limited any research on marijuana. Now that it's legal in states such as Michigan and Colorado, researchers are able to collect more data on problems that hadn't been clearly identified.

According to a new report, people who regularly use marijuana might need as much as two times more medication to sedate them when undergoing medical procedures compared with the amount required by non-users.

Researchers focused their study on people undergoing endoscopic procedures at one community hospital in Colorado.


Michigan impaired driving committee recommends not setting limits for THC levels

A group commissioned in Michigan to study the effects cannabis has on driving has told the state that it should not impose limits on the amount of THC found in a driver’s body.

The Impaired Driving Safety Committee, made up of six members appointed by then Governor Rick Snyder, made the recommendation last week in a report following two years of research and conducting roadside tests with the Michigan State Police. The committee included forensic toxicology, cannabis pharmacology, and traffic safety professionals as well as a medical cannabis patient and law enforcement.


Many Michigan communities have decided to ban cannabis stores

Nearly 1 in every 8 communities in Michigan have decided not to allow cannabis businesses and retail stores within their limits.

A large number of communities in Michigan decided to opt out of the recreational marijuana market, for now.

Roughly 400 Michigan communities decided that the wording on the ballot was way too liberal for them to allow businesses to operate there.

Namely, the wording on the ballot says that communities can either prohibit businesses entirely or limit the number of licenses available for businesses.

The ballot didn’t clearly define if communities can accept some categories of licenses and reject others, which is why they preventively opted out.


Michigan Judge blocks officials from closing unlicensed cannabis dispensaries

Michigan regulators keep trying to shut down the state’s unlicensed medical cannabis businesses. But Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello keeps blocking them. On Thursday, Judge Borrello signed his latest restraining order against the enforcement of a dispensary licensing deadline. Since regulators began attempting to curtail unlicensed dispensary operations in September 2018, the deadline has been pushed back several times.


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