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Michigan Regulator Calls For Shutdown Of Medical Marijuana Shops

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A member of Michigan’s state board responsible for coming up regulations on the medical marijuana industry called for all existing dispensaries to be temporarily shut down until official licenses can be released.

Retired State Police sergeant David Bailey raised the proposal, but the board decided to table the issue until the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation and the office of Attorney General Bill Schuette can discuss it. Medical marijuana is still unregulated in the state, Detroit News reports.

People attending the board’s second public hearing expressed their anxiety, fear and anger at the possibility of turning to the black market for their supply. One woman, who says she uses pot to treat seizures, said that she was afraid her condition might get worse. A man whose young son takes the drug for the same reason said the same thing, while other patients suffering all kinds of ailments said they were worried they might not be able to find treatment anymore.

An unidentified woman said,

I use it to treat my epilepsy because nothing else (works) and I’m still having seizures daily. What is going to happen to us — the ones who rely on it?

Jason Moon, a spokesperson for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, refused to comment on whether the board or department has the power to shutter dispensaries. Moon said, “The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation will thoroughly review the recommendations and discussion from the board, and consult with the Attorney General’s office before any action is taken.”

The department has the authority to lay out “emergency rules” to “protect the safety of Michiganders and to ensure laws are administered fairly and efficiently,” Moon said.

Applications for dispensary licenses begin on December 15. The deadline is fueling fears of a time lag that could prevent patients from getting access to medical marijuana in the meantime.

Bailey, for his part, believes that the state’s marijuana dispensaries are currently operating illegally, but emphasized that his goal is to make sure there are regulations in place that will allow pot to be treated like medicine.

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