The status of medical marijuana in Michigan – Downtown: Birmingham/Bloomfield news magazine

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Michigan Women’s Foundation

Here’s betting some of the 800 guests gathered at the Motor City Casino Sound Board and Ballroom for the Michigan Women’s Foundation 30th anniversary celebration learned a thing or two about the organization. For example, event co-chair Tricia Keith mentioned, “Our roots include Title IX (advocacy).” CEO Caroline Cassin also boasted that MWF has invested $1 million in micro loans to women-owned businesses. “Smart investments,” she declared, “ because women pay them back.” Another speaker who had been hungry and homeless, is now the CEO of Eden Urban Farms and is growing lettuce hydroponically in Detroit, thanks to an MWF loan.


at the table

Forever and a day ago I worked at Charlie’s Crab in Troy. It was a massive space with several dining rooms, a huge kitchen and some of the best crab cakes I have ever eaten. At the time it was the flagship restaurant of Chuck Muer and at one time was under the watchful eye of Bill Kruse. After 17 years with the company, Kruse broke away and opened the first of many restaurants in 1988 with Muer …more»

Pepino’s Restaurant , offering diners delectable Italian cuisine for over 32-years, has reopened in Sylvan Lake, at 2440 Orchard Lake Road, filling the space formerly home to Mike Larco’s A La Carte. A devastating fire last fall forced the family-owned Pepino’s to close the doors on its Walled Lake location. Kathy Kwiecinski , her sister Carol Carson , and Kathy’s son-in-law …more»
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03/31/2016 – Despite repeated requests by Supreme Court justices and local governments for the Michigan legislature to enact clearer laws regulating the state’s medical marijuana industry, the public awaits progress.

Lack of clarity isn’t merely a problem for patients, caregivers or growers, but for the legal system itself. The Michigan Supreme Court has spent countless hours adjudicating a total of eight cases involving medical marijuana since the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) was passed in 2008.

In early 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that dispensaries are not authorized under the MMMA, therefore patients must work with a specific caregiver, to whom they’re registered, to receive their medical marijuana. Later that year, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that MMMA prohibits medical marijuana to be sold in edible form, or other non-smokeable forms, despite desperate pleas from adult patients and parents of child patients, who cannot tolerate a dose of medical marijuana to be administered by smoking.

In another ruling, the Supreme Court unanimously decided in February 2014 that municipalities are barred from creating any local ordinance that prohibits medical marijuana, forcing Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, among other municipalities, which had prohibited medical marijuana use, to revise their ordinances. The ruling came as a result of three cases involving attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), including Robert Lott vs. City of Birmingham. The ruling also made clear that municipalities may not “use federal law as an excuse to disregard the MMMA.”

Currently sitting stagnant in committee in the Michigan Senate is a package of three bills, approved by the House in October, that outlines increased regulations pertaining to the monitoring and patient accessibility of medical marijuana. The next stage rests in the hands of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), who selects which bills are discussed.

Sponsored by Rep. Lisa Lyons (R-Alto), House Bill 4210 amends the MMMA to allow for other forms of marijuana to be permitted for patients, including “edibles,” like brownies, or other marijuana-infused products.

“I know there’s validity to stopping seizures with kids. I’ve seen the results of medical marijuana, talked to a lot of doctors who are firmly convinced there’s a use for it,” said Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall (R-White Lake). “But the purity, the security, has to be tightened up.”

House Bill 4827, which would create the Marijuana Tracking Act, sponsored by Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Township), would create a seed-to-sale tracking system and may help address the purity issue. Kowall compared the bill’s proposed structure to what is used in Colorado. “In Denver, they track it from seed to sale, and the minute they put the seed in the ground, it’s given a number. They put a post into a planter, a plastic stake with a number on it, and as the plant starts to grow, they put a zip-tie around the plant itself, so it can’t come off,” Kowall said. “That plant goes to one entity that processes it. Once it’s processed, the number follows that right through to use, so if something happens, it can track it back to where it came from, to who handled it.”

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