LANSING, MICH. - Hundreds of people spent their Sunday in Lansing to learn about new laws that will impact Michigan's medical marijuana industry.
The laws deal with anything from the growth and sale of medical marijuana to legalizing medical edibles and other non-smokable forms of medical marijuana.
On Sunday, Dec. 4, the Michigan Cannabis Business Development Group held a conference in an effort to make sure all in the industry know of the upcoming changes.
"The governor signed three laws relative to medical marijuana," said State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor. "One of them authorizing edibles and concentrates, one of them, that authorizes a safe and legal access system for dispensaries and cultivators to bring medical marijuana to patients who need it."
Organizers say this event is critical for an industry that is still a work in progress.
"It's very new and part of the problem with new is that people don't know what the rules are and they also don't know where the limits are and the boundaries are," organizer Rick Thompson said. "For a small business person, that can be disastrous."
But not all are on board with this new industry. Some who voted against the laws believe its opening the door to something else.
"Make no mistake that the end game of this legislation with all its societal ills, is eventually the full legalization of marijuana in our state," said State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton.
Last week, three medical marijuana dispensaries in the Grand Rapids area were searched as police say they're in violation of the state's Medical Marijuana Act.
Supporters of the industry say they'd like to see local communities handle these issues in a more civilized manner.
"We'd like to see local communities take the non-violent, non-aggressive way to make their feelings about these distribution centers known," Thompson said. "Statewide, that's an option that is always available, but seldom selected."
Though it's still fairly new, the medical marijuana industry is estimated to be more than a $60 million a year business.
The new laws will take effect Dec. 20.
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