A proposal by a member of the state’s Medical Marijuana Licensing Board has local dispensary owners worried about their ability to get a license.
Board member and retired Michigan State Police Sergeant Don Bailey says dispensaries should close their doors until the state makes license applications available.
Bailey’s proposal could not force dispensaries to close, but if they don’t, it would prevent them from getting a license this winter.
“There needs to be access for patients and that’s what it was all about,” said Medical Marijuana Advocate Chad Morrow.
Local dispensary owners say if the proposal is approved, it would prevent Northern Michigan patients from getting access to regulated or what they call, safe medical marijuana.
“That’s what this particular law was to get people away from, we were supposed to make safe access to patients not put them in the back alley. It was about compassion it was about giving these patients access. Throughout multiple court opinions, Supreme Court opinions and several of them, it’s been whittled and destroyed,” said Morrow.
At the meeting Board Member Bailey cited a Supreme Court case and said that every dispensary in the state is in violation of the Medical Marijuana Act.
His proposal would close all dispensaries until mid-December.
Morrow says the effects would last much longer.
“In December you can start applying but nobody is going to get approved and get licensed by then and get everything up and running until the spring of next year, so we are talking four to six months of no medicine,” added Morrow.
Following the raids in Gaylord last month, one dispensary stayed open, they plan to remain open even if the proposal is passed.
“It will affect our business in a negative way, but we’ll survive without it, because we are a natural health store. We are getting up in arms, we’re not given honest answers, we are not given anyone to speak to, everything is ambiguous, so we are kind of left in the dark,” said AllWell Natural Health Owner Frank James.
The Medical Marijuana Licensing Board will make their decision on the proposal at a special meeting next month.