LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Hundreds gathered at the Capitol today to protest potential new laws that would limit the rights of medical caregivers.
A package of bills called the “Michigan Cannabis Safety Act” would cap the amount of plants caregivers could grow and the number of patients they could serve.
Activists like Ryan Bringold say it’s being spun as if it’s about safety but claim that’s just blowing smoke
“It’s about money,” bring old said. “The less plants I can grow, you can grow, and the fellow citizens of Michigan can grow, that means more market share for the guys who have invested from out-of-state money.”
Right now caregivers are allowed 5 patients each. Under the proposed law, they’d only be allowed one.
Since each caregiver can grow 12 plants per patient they are currently allotted 60 plants. This law would be cut that number by 80%.
Bringold says it was people like him who got medical marijuana legalized back in 2008, now he feels he’s being pushed out.
“We created the market,” he said. “The grassroots movement out there, we got the signatures to get the people’s initiative on the ballot. This is our one chance as Michiganders to hold what we created for ourselves.”
Heidi Knierim has been in the business for years and says this legislation isn’t what’s best for those who need this medicine.
“I’ve been a caregiver since 2010,” she said. “I have had the same three patients for the last 10 years, they’re all seniors, older, they don’t want to go out. They trust me. Good caregivers last, bad ones don’t just like any business.”
On the flip side, those in favor of the package say caregivers don’t meet necessary safety standards since they’re not required to test track or label their product. Some also argue that caregivers are a large part of the remaining black market.
6 News reached out to multiple lawmakers and marijuana agencies in support of this bill but did not hear back.
If it were to be signed into law, it would go into effect on March 30, 2022.