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House Judiciary Discusses Changes To Medical Marijuana Licenses

Changes To Medical Marijuana LicensesThe House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday reported a bill to modify who is eligible for a medical marijuana license under existing state law.

Testifying in favor of the bill was its sponsor, Rep. Julie Alexander (R-Hanover), who said that HB 5700 was inspired by the story of a state employee and one of Ms. Alexander’s constituents.

The woman, identified only by her first name, has been an employee of Children’s Protective Services and has held other positions within the Department of Health and Human Services for 10 years.

The woman, Ms. Alexander said, recently married a man who held two licenses for a medical marijuana processing lab and a provisioning center. When he updated and renewed his application, the man updated his marital status and listed his wife’s name and occupation on the application.

A spouse is also considered an applicant when listed on medical marijuana licensing applications, and in the case of this couple, the license could not be granted because the woman is an employee of the state. The current law bars any state employee from obtaining a medical marijuana facility license, Ms. Alexander said.

The remedy, the state told the woman, was to either quit her job with the DHHS or to divorce her spouse, which Ms. Alexander called unacceptable.

“With the current challenges our state faces, we need to ensure our laws do not needlessly cost people their livelihoods,” Ms. Alexander said during her testimony. “With your help today, we can modify this law with common sense reforms.”

Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids) asked if Ms. Alexander considered clawing back provisions prohibiting people with certain criminal histories from obtaining a license, stating that the bill was overly broad in this regard.

Ms. Alexander said she has not at this point considered nor has she had any conversations with others about doing so.

The committee also reported SB 718HB 5411 and HB 5488 to the House.

SB 718 allows for a roadside drug testing pilot program introduced by Sen. Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford).

HB 5488 extends the sunset date for trial courts to charge permissible costs to supplement funding. A substitute adopted Wednesday changes the sunset to a two-year period.

Rep. Sarah Lightner (R-Springport) thanked the committee for their consideration and the city of Hazel Park wrote a letter in support of the bill.

HB 5411 provides penalties for interference in the operation of the U.S. census, which includes fraud. The Michigan Nonprofit Association and Michigan Municipal League signaled that they support the bill.

Committee Chair Rep. Graham Filler (R-Dewitt) said a substitute was discussed previously and introduced at the urging of the committee, which removes Section B from HB 5411. The substitute was adopted before the committee reported the bill with recommendation.

 

Source: Gognwar