Here's what Massachusetts is planning to do with its marijuana money

Massachusetts finally began allowing recreational marijuana sales a few weeks ago, almost a year later than originally planned. And while the state may have dragged their feet in the process, they're certainly more than happy to spend that cannabis tax money, writes Joseph Misulonas. 


Recreational marijuana is legal today in Michigan: Here are 5 things to know before lighting up

Michigan’s recreational marijuana law, officially known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, goes into effect today. Well, part of it, at least.

Voters passed Proposal 1 last month, making Michigan the first Midwestern state to legalize recreational marijuana.

But not everything goes into effect right away. Here are five things you need to know before lighting up this week.


Pot is legal in Michigan this week, but there's nowhere to buy it

There is a lot of confusion right now regarding the legal aspects of marijuana. Let's take a look at what is actually going on. To tell you the truth, for some things nobody knows what's up. That's just the way it is right now.

For example, Andrew Brisbo, director of the state Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation, spoke about the deadline for medical marijuana facilities that lack state licenses to close. The Oct. 31 date was blocked by Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borello. At this point the state can't move on enforcing closures through the end of the year and no new date has been set. Nobody knows what happens after that.


Michigan lawmakers introduce bill to release marijuana prisoners

Democratic lawmakers in Michigan have introduced a bill that would release from prison offenders convicted of committing certain marijuana crimes. The measure, House Bill 6508, would also reduce the prison sentences for other cannabis-related offenses.

If enacted, the bill would “provide for the release of prisoners convicted of certain offenses from imprisonment; to provide for the process by which a prisoner may seek relief; and to provide for the powers and duties of certain state and local governmental officers and entities,” according to the text of the measure.


Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Michigan this week: What to know

Recreational marijuana will become legal before the end of the year in the state of Michigan after voters approved a proposal in the November election. 

The Board of State Canvassers met on Monday and certified the election, meaning recreational weed will become legal in Michigan on Dec. 6, 2018, according to the Secretary of State.

Marijuana will be decriminalized in the state, but you won't be able to purchase it just yet. It could take up to a year for state legislators and businesses to figure out the licensing aspect.

Adults over the age of 21 will be allowed to cultivate, possess and consume marijuana on Dec. 6. Yes, you will be allowed to grow no more than 12 plants at your home.


Growing marijuana at home would be banned under new bill in Michigan

Republican lawmakers introduced bills Thursday that would undo some of the provisions in two of the ballot proposals overwhelmingly passed by voters on Nov. 6.

One bill, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, would prohibit homegrown marijuana that was part of the legalization ballot proposal that passed by a 56-44 margin. That provision allows anyone over the age of 21 to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use in their homes.

Meekhof said Thursday that he wants to prohibit home grows as a way to stop pot from flooding neighborhoods across the state.


Marijuana dispensaries won't run out of pot after state offers help

Licensed medical marijuana dispensaries got a break Wednesday, ending a mini-panic over a shortage of marijuana from licensed growers.

A new resolution that will be considered by the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board next week will allow licensed dispensaries to continue to purchase, test and sell marijuana from registered caregivers, who have been supplying dispensaries while state-licensed growers get up and running to produce usable marijuana.

Prior to the announcement, the licensed dispensaries had 30 days to sell all their marijuana products from caregivers and then transition to getting product from licensed growers. The dispensary owners were supposed to destroy whatever was left over from caregivers.


Marijuana will be legal in Michigan on Dec. 6: What to know

The official certification of the 2018 election results Monday begins a 10-day clock for legal weed in Michigan.

But even though the law doesn't take effect until Dec. 6, prosecutors in Michigan, including in Macomb and Oakland counties, are beginning to quietly dismiss low-level marijuana criminal charges that will no longer be a crime after marijuana becomes legal in the state.

Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith sent a memo to staff last week, telling assistant prosecutors to begin the process of dismissing marijuana charges, such as use or possession of small amounts of weed.

Likewise, Oakland County's Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton said Monday that the same is happening in Oakland.


Online tools available for Michigan medical marijuana users

Michigan residents who use medical marijuana now have online tools to register and get needed certification from their doctor.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs says patients without a caregiver can use the internet to apply for medical marijuana registry identification cards.

They also can check the status of their application through a secure online account. In the future, patients without a caregiver will also be able to go online to renew registry cards, request replacement cards, update their name and address, and withdraw from the medical marijuana program.


Some Michigan communities say no to legal marijuana businesses

Some Michigan communities are already saying no to marijuana businesses after voters approved the use of the drug for people 21 and older .

The South Bend Tribune reports the Niles City Council in southwestern Michigan voted Monday to temporarily opt out of allowing retail marijuana sales in the city. Council members have said they’re waiting for the state to sort out rules and regulations for the sale of marijuana.

The Herald-Palladium reports the southwestern Michigan community of St. Joseph also is among those expected to opt out.


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