Future Of Michigan Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In The Hands Of Licensing Board

The move could leave hundreds of mmj dispensaries across the state shuttered

Kirk Reid worries that a state licensing board will force him back into the shadows.

The Ann Arbor resident has been a medical marijuana card holder since 2009 and has been depending on pot dispensaries in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor to get the product that helps him deal with the multiple sclerosis that he was diagnosed with in 2004.

“It calms me down. It takes my pain away. Without it, I’d probably end up at the hospital or go to the black market,” said Reid, 47. “And I really don’t look forward to having to go to high schools or college campuses to look for marijuana.”

He may be without it in the near future if two members on the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board have their way. Board chairman Rick Johnson, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, and board member Don Bailey, a retired Michigan State Police officer, want to shut down dispensaries for the next few months until the board begins handing out licenses next year.

The move could leave hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries across the state shuttered and thousands of patients with no place to get the pot they use to help with a variety of ailments.

The Reef, a medical marijuana dispensary in Detroit, plans to close  Monday, at least for the time being, as a pre-emptive strike.

Other dispensaries around the state are waiting and watching. Genevieve, the manager of the Third Coast caregiver center in Ypsilanti who declined to give her last name, said the impact could be harmful to the patients who use her shop.

“We’re in good standing,” she said about the permit the shop got from the city in 2009. “For a lot of people, we’re within walking distance. A lot of people will be really devastated” if the state starts shutting down the dispensaries.


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