Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Could Risk Licensing If Not Closed By December

Cities, villages and townships across Northern Michigan have to decide whether they want to opt-in and allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in their town.

It comes on the heels of the state telling dispensary owners to shut down by December 15, or risk being denied a license under the new rules.

Frank James owns AllWell Natural Health, a dispensary and health store in Gaylord. He spoke in front of the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board in Lansing on Tuesday.

“I know I stand out amongst most people that have this card, but I live in Gaylord I see it every day,” Frank James, said.

James and the owners of other dispensaries will have three months to close their doors or risk not getting licensed.

Some have already begun the process of shutting down.

Mark Caryl is a medical marijuana patient he says he uses cannabis to treat PTSD.

“They’re scared, they just want to get in and get out and that’s what a lot of them are doing, getting done, getting out because they’re afraid,” Caryl, said.

He thinks closing dispensaries will only hurt people.

‘What they are doing is hurting everybody from the people who need it, I’m not talking people who abuse it, people who use it to correct, what they’ve been correcting with opiates and other drugs that are addicting,” Caryl, added.

With the state’s decision, cities around Northern Michigan now have to decide whether they will allow dispensaries, even if they are licensed.

It’s a discussion Gaylord City Council plans on having.

“I decided it was important for our city council to host the discussion and to make a determination whether they are going to opt out of this or opt in to this,” Gaylord City Manager Joe Duff, said.

Those for and against dispensaries in town want a decision one way or another.

“That’s what we’ve been hearing from both sides. We hope to have the item on as an agenda item at the city council,” Duff, added.

Gaylord City Council will meet again on September 25.