Michigan State University Extension Hosts Workshops on Local Regulation of Licensed Marijuana Facilities

Michigan State University Extension Hosts Workshops on Local Regulation of Licensed Marijuana Facilities

Michigan State University Extension Hosts Workshops on Local Regulation of Licensed Marijuana Facilities

Over the last few weeks, Michigan State University Extension has been hosting a series of 13 seminars across the state entitled, “Regulating Medical Marijuana Facilities: A Workshop for Local Government.” I attended the three-hour seminar held on campus at MSU.

As most readers of this blog know, Michigan’s new Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) establishes a framework for the regulation of five different types of licensed facilities. The MMFLA contains a local opt-in provision, meaning licensees may only operate in a local jurisdiction that has affirmatively authorized the specific type of licensed facility. Local governments may also cap the number of facilities of each type they allow, and regulate them through zoning and other requirements, so long as local regulations do not conflict with the MMFLA or address purity or pricing of marijuana.

MSU Extension’s seminar is intended primarily to educate municipal officials on the MMFLA. Of the hundred or so attendees in East Lansing, I would hazard a guess that 80 percent or more were local government planning staff, elected officials, or attorneys. Most reported that they are hearing from constituents with questions or recommendations on how to implement the MMFLA—with some, of course, advocating that no facilities be allowed at all.

As for the substance of the seminar, MSU Extension staff provided what I felt to be an unbiased explanation of the MMMA and the MMFLA, and the issues confronting municipal governments. Seminar attendees were given in-depth written materials, including draft ordinances. Attendees also engaged in role-playing exercises intended to have them listen to a range of views on the desirability of having licensed facilities in their communities.

Industry participants would be well-served to understand the issues and concerns from the municipal official perspective, and also to hear what those officials are being told both by MSU Extension staff and municipal government organizations. Although I found the seminar staff and materials to largely “play it straight,” I also heard advice that was disconcerting. A common refrain was that “it is easier to first say ‘no’ and then later say ‘yes’ than it is to first say ‘yes’ and then later say ‘no.’” More troubling, attendees were told that given the timing for license applications, municipalities could wait until late summer or early fall before beginning the process of crafting ordinances. For those of us advising clients acquiring real estate and getting their business plans in place to apply for licensure, such a delayed timing is highly problematic.

MSU Extension has just one more of these seminars yet to come; March 23 in Bessemer. For those who don’t wish to pair a seminar with skiing at Big Snow, MSU Extension also today announced a live webinar to be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on March 30. Registration is open until March 23 at the following link:

https://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?eventID=6030ABBEE42C13BE

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Published at Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Bong Types: Acrylic, Glass and Novelty

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Bong Types: Acrylic, Glass and Novelty

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Bong Types – Where to Start?

Our buddies over at Pass The Bong have a huge assortment of bong types to fit your need and style. To make it easier to decide which may be right for you, we will break up all the various bongs into three distinct categories:

Acrylic Bongs

Acrylic bongs can be really stylish as well as durable, indestructible and easy to clean. Acrylic (or plastic) bongs represent an inexpensive, yet efficient way to get started smoking with a water pipe. Here are just a few examples from the wide variety of choices:

Glass Bongs

Glass bongs (also known as glass water pipes) are a generally thought of as more “upscale” than acrylic bongs. Glass water pipes commonly use percolators to provide a smooth and clean smoking experience. Below, check out a few of the various styles:

Novelty Bongs

Novelty Bongs come in pretty much every style you can imagine, from ceramic cobra snakes to the grim reaper! Heck, you can even guy a boob bong for your collection. With so many to choose from, it comes down to personal choice and functionality. Here are just a few examples:

bong types

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Published at Sun, 12 Mar 2017 06:11:38 +0000

Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Releases Draft Initiative for Comment

Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Releases Draft Initiative for Comment

Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Releases Draft Initiative for Comment

Today, the Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol released its draft initiative. The Coalition is accepting comments until Saturday, February 25, so those wishing to weigh in should do so quickly.

The draft is available on Dropbox, and may be accessed through the Coalition’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RegulateMichigan/. The Dropbox site enables direct comments on the document.

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Published at Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

We have previously reported on twin court battles challenging a now-rescinded state policy on “rehabilitation” of petition signatures that kept MILegalize from making Michigan’s 2016 ballot. Coverage can be found at the links below:

MI Legalize Petition Signers Head to Federal Court, but Are Unlikely to Find Early Relief

No Marijuana Measure on November Ballot—Federal Judge Rejects Bid to Halt Michigan Election Process

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court closed the door on one of these challenges, rejecting without comment a petition for certiorari that asked the Court to hear a challenge to the decisions of Michigan’s appellate courts.

The other litigation effort to belatedly save the 2016 MILegalize initiative appears to be languishing before Judge Parker in the U.S. Eastern District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The State of Michigan filed a motion to dismiss that case back in October, and briefing on the motion was complete on December 9, 2016. No further action has been taken by the court in that case.

With efforts to salvage the 2016 initiative apparently stalled, MILegalize has joined with the Marijuana Policy Project in preparing a draft of an initiative for 2018. As we wrote last week, anyone with comments on that draft has been asked to submit comments by this Saturday, February 25. In the meantime, MILegalize has scheduled a $500 per ticket fund raising event in Detroit for March 23.

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Published at Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Michigan Seeks Input on “Inventory Startup,” Transition Issues

Michigan Seeks Input on “Inventory Startup,” Transition Issues

Michigan Seeks Input on “Inventory Startup,” Transition Issues

As the State of Michigan continues to move forward in developing rules to implement the State’s new Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) today reached out for the second time for stakeholder input on critical issues. This time, LARA is asking for feedback on questions that LARA characterizes as concerning “inventory start-up.” Fundamentally, these questions address how and whether individuals involved in the current caregiver model under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act can transition to operating under the MMFLA.

Specifically, the Director of LARA, Shelly Edgerton, issued the following statement and request:

LARA is currently seeking comments from interested parties on the topic of inventory startup as it relates to the licensed categories. The purpose of this document is to gather information only and it is not meant to interfere with the authority of the Board or Advisory Panel procedures when these panels are appointed as provided under the Act. To that end we are asking for your input by responding to the questions below. We are only asking for brief answers, or comments limited to a short paragraph or a few sentences. Please provide your responses by 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 21st, 2017. After the responses are compiled, a meeting and/or conference call may be scheduled if appropriate to review the responses and receive additional input. Please submit your responses to curtisc8@michigan.gov.

Questions:

    1. Should LARA require all licensees to begin without inventory or zero product on day 1 of license issuance and thereafter track all cultivation from the date of licensure?
    2. Should LARA have an inventory startup period that allows a grower licensee to transition medical marihuana cultivated as allowed under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) into the future Statewide Monitoring System for tracking and inventory verification provided it is recorded/tracked? If yes, should LARA limit the timeframe in which these acquisitions can occur? What would you recommend as a timeframe?
    3. Should LARA consider an inventory startup period for all 5 license categories?
    4. Should a licensed grower or processor be permitted to include into a startup inventory the existing marihuana or marihuana-infused products cultivated or processed under the MMMA of the former registered primary caregiver who becomes an active employee of the licensee pursuant to the Act?

We can anticipate that LARA will continue to solicit stakeholder input, although LARA’s statement again notes that its work on the rules is to be in consultation with the yet-to-be-appointed Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Board and Advisory Panel. Given that the formal roles of advisory panels are fairly limited under the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act, the new Board and LARA will have some discretion with respect to how deeply they involve the Advisory Panel. While it remains to be seen what opportunities will be provided for public input into the rulemaking process (apart from those required under the APA), LARA’s continued outreach to the industry is promising.

As the rulemaking process in Michigan continues to unfold, check back here to Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

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Published at Wed, 08 Mar 2017 17:00:00 +0000

AmStarDam The Movie (Official Trailer)

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AmStarDam The Movie (Official Trailer)

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Get your rolling papers at the ready for the Lennox Brothers’ debut feature “AmStarDam,” an Amsterdam adventure with a fairytale twist.

Jack comes to Amsterdam to find his father and, through a momentary magical encounter, finds the secret weapon that could turn around his father’s ailing marijuana coffee shop.

Combining classic fairytales with the wild world of Amsterdam, this riotous fantasy comedy is a coming of age story not for the faint hearted.

Shot on location in Amsterdam and at 3 Mills studios in London.</span>

Jonathan Readwin, Sean Power, Eline Powell, Eric Lampaert, Kenneth Collard, Howard Marks, Billy Boyd, Alice Lowe, Dannielle Brent, Anthony Cozens, Javone Prince, Ben Goffe, Francesca Papagno, Ricky Champ

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Published at Thu, 02 Mar 2017 06:33:09 +0000

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

Suits to Resurrect MILegalize 2016 Initiative Failing, Attention Turns to 2018

We have previously reported on twin court battles challenging a now-rescinded state policy on “rehabilitation” of petition signatures that kept MILegalize from making Michigan’s 2016 ballot. Coverage can be found at the links below:

MI Legalize Petition Signers Head to Federal Court, but Are Unlikely to Find Early Relief

No Marijuana Measure on November Ballot—Federal Judge Rejects Bid to Halt Michigan Election Process

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court closed the door on one of these challenges, rejecting without comment a petition for certiorari that asked the Court to hear a challenge to the decisions of Michigan’s appellate courts.

The other litigation effort to belatedly save the 2016 MILegalize initiative appears to be languishing before Judge Parker in the U.S. Eastern District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The State of Michigan filed a motion to dismiss that case back in October, and briefing on the motion was complete on December 9, 2016. No further action has been taken by the court in that case.

With efforts to salvage the 2016 initiative apparently stalled, MILegalize has joined with the Marijuana Policy Project in preparing a draft of an initiative for 2018. As we wrote last week, anyone with comments on that draft has been asked to submit comments by this Saturday, February 25. In the meantime, MILegalize has scheduled a $500 per ticket fund raising event in Detroit for March 23.

(Why?)

Published at Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Marijuana-Themed Memorials

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Marijuana-Themed Memorials

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Marijuana Inlay Heart Sterling Silver Memorial Jewelry

Marijuana-Themed Memorials Are Here for Your Coolest Departed Loved Ones

Disclaimer: This blog starts out as a bummer, but picks up quickly afterwards.

A memorial for a loved one is meant to serve as a testament to their memory. It’s common, then, for people to be interred in a way that displays their personality. Maybe they’re buried with copies of their favorite music, or maybe their tombstone displays their unending wit. But what if Grandma’s favorite hobby was of a, ahem, “higher” calling? The answer, of course, is found in the internet. Perfect Memorials, an e-commerce business focused on cremation urns and jewelry, has released a line of marijuana-themed memorial products.

marijuana-themed memorials

Perfect Memorials Makes Marijuana-Themed Memorials to Remember Your Awesome Grandma By

Perfect Memorials’ cannabis line has made it possible to cherish the memories of your awesome, pot-smoking Grandma. Their product line includes a wide selection of urns and cremation jewelry that all contain beautiful engravings of pot leaves. If your loved one has been cremated, you can keep a portion of their ashes in a memorial that will be an important and valuable aspect of their personality. A couple examples of Perfect Memorial’s marijuana-themed products are below.

Small Marijuana Leaf Book Cremation Urn - EngravableMarijuana-Themed Memorials: Urns — Funeral urns are vessels that hold the ashes of the deceased. Their small size makes them easy to keep in the home, remaining close to loved ones. Perfect Memorial’s selection of urns varies in size and complexity, from this small box with a simple engraved pot leaf, to an extra-large chest with a field of cannabis on the front.

Marijuana Inlay Heart Sterling Silver Memorial Jewelry

Marijuana-Themed Memorials: Cremation Jewelry — Cremation jewelry includes pendants and other pieces of jewelry that are designed with a hollow body to hold a portion of the deceased’s ashes. This jewelry is the perfect way to carry the memory of your loved ones with you, and Perfect Memorial’s marijuana leaf-engraved jewelry can help you remember a favorite hobby that you shared! Cremation jewelry typically has space for a small amount of ash, or other substances, to help you remember a dear friend or relative.

It’s a Budding Market

If pouring out a drink can become a cultural idiom for remembering a loved one, then it’s no surprise that puffing one out, so to speak, can become one too. On a larger scale, this is just another tangible sign that pot is becoming more and more acceptable in American culture. We know that 60% of US adults believe that marijuana should be legalized and one in eight say that they currently smoke it, double from what it was just 3 years ago. On a more personal scale, this growing level of acceptance means that you can honor your loved ones’ memory openly, publicly, and as they would want to be remembered.

You can check out all of Perfect Memorial’s marijuana-themed urns and memorial jewelry on their website. Feel free to comment with ideas for how to best remember your pot-smoking loved ones below.

how to grow weed

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Published at Fri, 24 Feb 2017 05:38:21 +0000

Michigan’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules: Profiles of House of Representative Members

Michigan’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules: Profiles of House of Representative Members

Michigan’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules: Profiles of House of Representative Members

We have previously written on how amendments to Michigan’s Administrative Procedures Act have given greater power to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). As the State develops regulations to implement the new Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), JCAR can exercise significant influence on the content of those regulations.

Not since the 1990’s, and the creation of rules to govern the advent of commercial casino gaming, has Michigan promulgated comprehensive regulations for a whole industry. Given legislative term limits, none of the members of JCAR were involved in that process. But who exactly are the members of JCAR, and what is their background when it comes to marijuana policy?

JCAR is comprised of five State Senators and five State Representatives, three Republicans and two Democrats from each chamber. The chairmanship of JCAR alternates between chambers each session, with Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) now serving as chair. This week, House Speaker Tom Leonard announced the appointment of Rep. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) to replace now-former Rep. Brian Banks (D-Detroit), who resigned last week. That brought JCAR to its full complement of ten members. Today, we provide background on the House members of JCAR:

  • Chairman Steve Johnson (R-Wayland): representing conservative Allegan and Kent Counties, Chairman Johnson is a freshman representative with no prior state government experience. He’s an Air Force veteran, who touts his Christian beliefs as providing guidance for his decision making. Of note to those in the marijuana industry who have a libertarian bent, Chairman Johnson is a co-sponsor of a state constitutional amendment that would guarantee that electronic data and communications are secure from unreasonable and warrantless search and seizure.
  • Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron): representing Port Huron and Lake Huron lakeshore communities to the north, Rep. Hernandez is also a freshman representative with no prior state government experience. A self-described conservative Republican, he has been the vice president of an architectural firm. He too is a co-sponsor of the proposed state constitutional amendment to protect electronic data and communications.
  • John Reilly (R-Oakland Township): represents northern portions of Oakland County. After 20 years in automotive test engineering, Rep. Reilly started his own home services business, which he has run for over a decade. He, too, is a freshman representative with no prior state government experience. A father and grandfather, he has already begun to focus on education matters.
  • Andy Schor (D-Lansing): represents the City of Lansing. Unlike his Republican counterparts, Rep. Schor is in his final term in the State House and has a track record on medical marijuana, having voted in favor of both the MMFLA and legislation allowing for infused products. Prior to serving in the Legislature, Rep. Schor served in the administration of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and for ten years as an Ingham County Commissioner. Rep. Schor is widely reported to be considering a challenge to Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in this year’s city elections. With Lansing having become an epicenter of marijuana dispensaries, he may have a keen interest in this rulemaking process.
  • Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield): Representing Southfield, Rep. Moss is in his second term. He voted in favor of both the MMFLA and the infused products legislation last session, during which he served as vice chair of the Local Government Committee. Prior to his election to the House, Rep. Moss served on the Southfield City Council.

With three of the House members of JCAR being freshmen, they do not have a track record with respect to medical marijuana, meaning advocates will need to educate them on Michigan’s history with the associated issues, and the intent behind the MMFLA and infused products bill. As we will see in our next post, this stands in marked contrast to the Senate members of JCAR.

As the rulemaking process in Michigan continues to unfold, check back here to Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.

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Published at Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Releases Draft Initiative for Comment

Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Releases Draft Initiative for Comment

Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Releases Draft Initiative for Comment

Today, the Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol released its draft initiative. The Coalition is accepting comments until Saturday, February 25, so those wishing to weigh in should do so quickly.

The draft is available on Dropbox, and may be accessed through the Coalition’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RegulateMichigan/. The Dropbox site enables direct comments on the document.

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Published at Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0000