Educational sessions discuss new medical marijuana regulations - WNEM TV 5

Educational sessions discuss new medical marijuana regulations

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A group of laws passed in 2016 overhauled the medical marijuana industry in Michigan. 

About 200 people attended a workshop Tuesday in Kalamazoo to learn more about the upcoming state regulations on medical marijuana.

The city is one of five stops for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to host the educational sessions. Department representatives said the state will now offer five different licenses for anyone interested in this industry.

People who hold a local license to distribute or obtain medical marijuana will soon be able to apply for a license.

The expanded services will allow licenses for growers, processors and secure transporters, and for anyone staffing a provision center or safety compliance center.

All applicants must pass a background check, present a business plan and explain any disclosures before a new license is approved.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the department also explained the new state monitoring system.

A representative said officials will be monitoring the seed all the way to the sale of medical marijuana for the safety of patients.

“That's important for the safety of the patients because if there's ever a recall or ever an instance where something is wrong with a batch of a product we'll be able to track that through the system determine where the problem was and be able to do recalls and those types of things just like you would any other industry,” said David Harns, the public information officer for the licensing department.

The Spott Cannabis Testing Facility checks samples of medical marijuana from licensed care givers.

They're testing for contaminants before a care giver serves a patient.

“It's important for people to have safe medicine. It is medication,” Linda Palmatier said. “Nobody should be consuming untested meds.”

Starting on Dec. 5 people will be able to apply for a state license only if they have a local license.

Some people at the session wondered if the new regulations will be enough to protect patients and the people in the medical marijuana business.

“There's just little with each individual license that needs to be planned out. We don't know what tests they're going to require testers to run, as far as pesticides, fertilizers and so forth. “We don't know whether or not there needs to be fences, we don't know whether or not secured transporters armored or have cameras or alerts,” said Attorney Devin Loker. 

Right now, the city of Kalamazoo is waiting for licensing and regulatory affairs to finalizing its licensing program before allowing local licenses to become available.

Copyright 2017 CBS News / WWMT. All rights reserved. 

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