Council discusses possible changes to medical marijuana law

By: Robert Guttersohn | Royal Oak Review | Published January 8, 2014

CLAWSON — The City Council discussed at its Dec. 17 meeting three pending state statutes that would allow pharmacies to sell medical marijuana, allow the sale of marijuana-infused products to patients and would permit local governments to regulate marijuana dispensaries.

Both the state Senate and House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 660, regarding pharmacies, and it awaits Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature.

House Bill 5104, legalizing some marijuana-infused products, and House Bill 4271, allowing local governments to regulate dispensaries, passed in the House and will go to the Senate some time this year.

City Attorney Jon Kingsepp called the pending statutes “intuitive” and “advanced.”

“These three statutes are very, very good, as far as regulation — comprehensive on demonstrating proof and giving communities local control,” Kingsepp said.

He said if all three were to become law, they would allow Clawson to limit the number of manufacturers and sellers of medical marijuana within the city.

Additionally, it would allow pharmacies like Rite Aid and CVS to begin selling medical marijuana to patients, who would be licensed to buy medical marijuana by the state.

The statutes would govern facilities that do the manufacturing to ensure the marijuana is not contaminated with mold and fungi, which, Kingsepp said, has been a problem.

Kingsepp said the city approved ordinances three years ago and that the statutes will bring state law more in line with what is already city law.

“We have the ordinances in place to cover these situations,” Kingsepp said.

The city only needs to refine some of its standards and close loopholes, Kingsepp said.

“These are three pieces of legislation that are well thought-out … and really clarify the road map,  as far as the use of medical marijuana,” Kingsepp said.

City Councilman Jim Horton expressed concern about the leniency toward whom doctors recommend should be prescribed medical marijuana cards.

“I actually went down Van Dyke and crossed into Detroit, and there are signs on the street saying, ‘Sixty-nine dollar medical marijuana card,’” Horton said.

Kingsepp said the pending laws would not change that.