Patients voice concerns over new medical marijuana regulations - WNEM TV 5

Patients voice concerns over new medical marijuana regulations

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Michigan medical marijuana businesses will be forced to temporarily shutdown.

New regulations could put a strain on shops and patients.

In less than two months, dispensaries have to shut down to get a new state-approved license.

"If the dispensaries shut down, you're going to ask these people to go to the streets," said Paul Ruszkowski, patient.

On Dec. 15, medical marijuana dispensaries across the state have to stop doing business while they reapply under the state's new licensing process.

Patients like Ruszkowski said he relies on marijuana for pain management.

"I use it on a daily basis opposed to other opioid drugs that they offered me at the hospital," Ruszkowski said.

Some reports have said dispensaries would be shut down for two to three weeks. Ruszkowski said he is preparing for longer.

"They're predicting the first quarter so that's three months. Now we're not talking three weeks. We're talking maybe three months and if there are further delays in licensing, six months, 18 months, we don't know how long this could last," Ruszkowski said.

David Horns, with the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department said they don't have any enforcement authority over the existing facilities at this point. He said all they can do it look at the dispensary's qualifications for receiving a license.

The new regulations are increasing oversight and adding new taxes on the medical marijuana industry. The new rules turn medical marijuana into a more than $800 million a year industry.

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