Marijuana caregivers protest new legislation

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 5:35 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Marijuana caregivers took to the Capitol lawn today to protest a bill package that would limit the number of patients they have, and reduce how many marijuana plants they could grow. Chanting “no change,” protestors say they don’t want the current law to change.

Marijuana caregiver Daniel O’Brien said, “Caregiver-to-patient relationships are healthy and I believe disrupting these relationships is a public threat.”

The package introduced to the Michigan legislature Tuesday would reduce the number of patients allowed per caregiver from five to one. The number of marijuana plants caregivers could grow would drop from 60 to 12.

Shelly Edgerton from the Michigan Cannibis Manufacturers Association said two thirds of the product on the market right now is untested. The goal of the bipartisan package is to make it safer for consumers.

She said, “It means product is untested, it’s not tracked, we have no idea what’s in it and people are consuming it.”

Protesters say the changes favor big dispensaries. Tasha Rountree is a caregiver and said, “We don’t have the same access to dispensaries, we don’t have the same access to make money and become our own entity and our own company.”

But on the flip side, Edgerton said there is opportunity for caregivers if the bills are passed. She said, “An entrepreneur opportunity to be in the regulated market and I think they will. We’re opening it up for them to sell overages into the marketplace, which they can’t do right now if they have it.”

If the bills are passed, they would go into effect March 2022.

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