On Wednesday the Michigan House of Representatives passed three bills that would regulate the production and sale of cannabis in the Wolverine State. All of the bills passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support.
Similar legislation passed the house last year but was eventually shot down in the state Senate. The new bills propose a all medical cannabis sales be subject to a 3 percent excise tax and the state’s current 6 percent sales tax. Additionally, the bill would create a production and regulatory environment for edible and other non-smokeable forms of cannabis.
The third bill details the ‘seed to sale’ tracking model, popular amongst law makers in other regulated state medical cannabis programs.
Some details of the bill include:
- Let communities decide whether they want medical marijuana-related businesses in their communities.
- Impose a 3 perent excise tax on medical marijuana businesses and the 6% sales tax on sales of medical marijuana.
- Create five categories of regulated medical marijuana businesses: growers, processors, dispensaries, testing facilities and transporters. The state Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department would establish licensing fees for each category.
- Set up a seed-to-sale tracking system to monitor marijuana production and sales.
- Legalize non-smokable forms of marijuana, such as cookies and candies.
The bills have received support from leading Michigan industry organizations.
“By passing this landmark legislation, the Michigan House today is taking a historic step toward better protecting medical marijuana patients and providing local businesses and communities with a clear, consistent framework to make sure everyone across Michigan plays by the rules,”
said Willie Rochon, Michigan Cannabis Development Association secretary.
State Representative (D) Jeff Irwin has been vocal about his support for medical cannabis and for it to not be taxed just like any other form of medicine.
“I find the solution to be imperfect, but a good compromise. I hope the Legislature will ensure that this evolving market is something that we continue to get right.”
One of leading legislators of the bills State Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, began his work on the legislation almost four years ago and thinks the current bills will make it past the Senate.
“This year, we have addressed what made it stall last year,” Callton said of previous Police opposition.
“They’ve been at the table. They realize we need something.”
State Representative (R) Lisa Lyons, sponsored the bill that would permit non-smokable forms of cannabis, and said the issue at hand at one is one of morality.
“We need to ensure safe access to medical marijuana and give people alternative forms from smoking, especially children and the elderly. There have been inconsistent judicial rules on other forms of marijuana and we’ve seen actual prosecution of people because they were using a form of medical marijuana that is healthier than smoking it.”
Lyons emphatically stated.
The bills HB 4209, 4210 and 4827 will now make their way to the Senate for vote.