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Mon December 30, 2013
Federal Government Holds Key To Whether State Pharmacies Can Sell Medical Marijuana
Michigan pharmacies will be able to sell medical marijuana if feds reschedule
By Jake Neher
Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill into law Monday that clears the way for pharmacies to sell medical marijuana in Michigan. But that’s only if the federal government reclassifies cannabis as a legal prescription drug.
There’s no clear sign that will happen any time soon. But if it does, the new law creates a framework for a medical marijuana distribution system separate from the patient-caregiver system that already exists in Michigan.
The measure was championed in the Legislature by Prairie Plant Systems. That’s Canada’s sole provider of medical marijuana. The company says treating cannabis like other prescription drugs would be safer for patients because it would ensure all products are tested for mold, toxins, and impurities.
But opponents of the new law worry it could undermine the state’s voter-approved Medical Marihuana Act. They say the new system would compete with the state’s patient-caregiver model and they say Prairie Plant Systems’ products won’t meet the needs of many patients.
State lawmakers are still considering two other high-profile medical marijuana bills. House Bill 4271 would revive medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan with new regulations. House Bill 5104 would allow patients to use edible forms of cannabis. The state House passed both bills earlier this month with overwhelming bipartisan support. They’re now in the state Senate.