MI Supreme Court: Medical Pot Dispensaries Illegal

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email
The Supreme Court made the ruling Friday morning, which would allow county prosecutors to close medical marijuana shops.

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2012 file photo, marijuana is weighed and packaged for sale at the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

For those medical marijuana dispensaries that fought against a 2011 court ruling and stayed open, the Michigan Supreme Court's decision may be the final red light.

"I wasn't surprised, however we were quite crushed," said Tim Jenkins, assistant manager at Star Buds.

Jenkins says he woke up to the news on Friday and spent the morning emptying shelves of products.

"Our average clientele were sick people, they had no alternative, so I hope the State of Michigan feels really good about what they did," said Jenkins.

The court's ruling clarified a 2008 law, meaning the state's 126,000 approved medical marijuana users must grow their own pot or get it from a licensed caregiver. Attorney General Bill Schuette argued the law is supposed to help those who are seriously sick and doesn't open the door to unrestricted retail marijuana sales.

"As the law was written, it creates a system of caregivers to provide for five patients each and there's no reason patients shouldn't be able to find a caregiver to comply with the law," said Joy Yearout, spokesperson for Attorney General Bill Schuette.

However, those in the medical pot business say that doesn't come close to servicing the needs. Those at Star Buds say they'll comply with the law, but they're not ready to close shop.

"We focus most of our business on a wide array of service, medication being only one small facet of those services...That's all we can do right now is remain open, do our certifications, do our clinics and take the loss," Jenkins said.

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