Dec 14, 2017
State-mandated rules governing the licensing, distribution, and sale of medical marihuana have been signed by Governor Rick Snyder after passage by the Legislature on Senate Bill 433. This set of rules was promised to the industry by December 15, anticipating open operations in Michigan.
A confidential document showing proposed licensing rules was released on December 4, indicating that what the industry had asked for was going to happen. The law begins with a declaration of emergency, meaning it is in effect now, which opens the door for applications for licenses in townships, cities, and villages. Starting tomorrow (15th) a flood of license requests is expected to inundate LARA (Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) Offices in Lansing.
There are license categories labeled “A,” “B,” and “C,” which covers growers, processors, provisioning centers, secure transporter and safety compliance centers. State monitoring systems are in place, as described in previous articles in the Lakeview Area News.
On page seven of a 33-page law, financial requirements for just applying for a license are outlined, including a non-refundable $6,000 fee, which does not guarantee a license. “Stacked” licenses are permitted, meaning a person or company can apply for more than one license requiring the fee for each one.
Application fees are the minor investments in the process. Six-figure numbers follow a successful application, such as $500,000 for a class “C” growing facility and $300,000 if you are a processor. Stack those two licenses and applicants had better be prepared to submit serious money.
Financial considerations have caused local governments to warm up to the idea of dispensaries in their jurisdictions, while some cringe at the idea of legal distribution of any kind of marihuana. In spite of economic upturns in most Michigan counties, government is hungry for more money.
A strong proponent of medical marihuana distribution is David Overholt, owner and operator of AAA Hydroponics in Sheridan. When Overholt was asked if “recreational use” sales would be made from dispensaries of medical products, he replied, “If the local government approves.” Should smoking “pot” be legalized in Michigan, either by a statewide vote in November or by legislative action and the local-licensing entity approves, “joint” sales would happen in dispensaries.
While Michigan and several other states, marches ahead with marihuana, more questions about using THC are being asked. Human use of cannabinoids (the family of complex chemicals in marihuana, natural and man-made) is being researched in England where such investigation is legal. In 1980 researchers found the first cannabinoids receptor. Shortly after UK scientists found that our bodies create a cannabinoids-like chemical known as endocannabinoids. In short, the proteins, called “CB1” and “CB2” attach to our brains and immune systems respectively.
These molecules (endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors) are called “interesting” by scientists, and see they are involved in a vast array of functions in the human body. Further investigation is needed to see if suspicions are correct, that they can help control brain and nerve activity (memory and pain), energy metabolism, heart function, immune system and reproduction. This is why cures labeled “miraculous” from medical marihuana use are claimed, from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases.
It’s not time to jump to suspected conclusions about marihuana just yet. Multiple reports indicate the placebo effect is shaking some pharmaceutical companies to the core. Some discoveries that appeared promising for treatment of depression were effectively equaled by placebos (pills without the drug). Wired Magazine reports on Merek’s new drug labeled MK-869 that showed promise for depression relief. When the substance went into testing with placebos, those taking the fake pills showed equal reaction. What was anticipated to be great and new discoveries turned out to be no more effective than the placebo when people told what the new drug was intended to do
Other than the UK, where is the effectiveness of medical marihuana being tested? Is there a single “double blind” test on this substance entering the legal market as an amazing cure? Now that licensing is being encouraged, as of tomorrow, is it now possible for researchers in Michigan to determine how effective marihuana is and whether what we think is going to happen does, when we are told what it should do?
The driving force behind this whole issue is money, and government’s desire for more of it. The marihuana “ball” is knocking down all the resistance “pins” for a “strike.” You can hear it rumble down the “lane.”