Weed safety bill sparks mixed reviews

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A set of bills are making its way through the state capital focused on medical marijuana and how it’s grown and tested. The bills make up the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act. Many opponents to the bills said it could keep patients away from the medication they need.

“Choice, that’s what they are taking from the situation. You want to do something, fine, pay a permit,” said Rodney Lienhart.

Lienhart has been a chef for 26 year and is also a medical marijuana patient. He said that access to it helped him overcome alcohol withdrawls when regular prescriptions couldn’t. He fears that the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act would force patients to find others way to get access to it.

“The most important is that there’s going to be a lapse where they can’t get their medicine so its pushing them to have to go to the dispensaries where it’s astronomically completely overpriced,” he said.

Amie Carter with More Than Hope, a cannabis advocacy group, said that the proposed legislation will hurt young patient’s access to medical marijuana. She worrys about patients like her son, Jayden who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 2 and has autism.

“In order for patients to have a flow of medications from their caregiver, it takes a lot of plants to do that,” she said, “it takes a few ounces of dry flower to make a few grams of my son’s medicine.”

Stephen Linder, the executive director of Michigan Cannabis Manufactures Association disagrees and said many of the new regulations would only be for caregivers that choose to grow more than the 24 plants allowed. As of now, they can grow up to 72– but this legislation would reduce that.

“The point of the legislation is to create a new licensed category called specialty medical growers, people that grow large quantities of cannabis now in their homes, garages,” he said.

Linder said that large grows in homes are a fire risk and cause complaints of smells from neighbors. He said that the legilsation would allow caretakers to grow more plants in places zoned for agriculture.

“The industry is taking steps to make michigan a model cannabis industry,” Linder said.

The legislation is currently on the Michigan House floor waiting for a vote before moving on to the senate.

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