Medical marijuana law training offered

EAST LANSING — Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is offering training throughout Michigan for local government officials on the new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, and related law.

Two of the sessions will be held in the U.P. They are:

– Feb. 28: St. Ignace – St. Ignace Public Library, 110 W. Spruce St.

– March 6: Marquette – Marquette Township Hall, 1000 Commerce Drive

Anytime new laws related to marijuana are passed, it creates questions and some concerns in Michigan communities. MSU Extension’s new training will provide an understanding on all the relevant changes in the act and options about prohibiting or accepting growing operations and dispensaries in communities.

On Sept. 21, 2016, Gov. Rick Snyder signed three new laws that clarify and add to the state’s voter-approved Michigan Medical Marihuana Act from 2008. The new laws legalize marijuana-infused products for medicinal use, create a “seed-to-sale” tracking system to ensure marijuana dispensed to patients has been tested for safety, and give local governments the authority to regulate the location and number of medical marijuana provisioning centers within their boundaries. The bills are now Public Act 281, 282 and 283 of 2016.

Public Act 281-the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act-is most relevant for local governments. The law creates a licensing and regulatory structure for five types of medical marijuana facilities: growers, processors, provisioning centers, secure transporters and safety compliance facilities. The act authorizes applications for state operating licenses beginning Dec. 15, 2017. Additionally, the law creates a medical marijuana excise fund in the state treasury that will allocate revenue from fees, fines and charges to local units of government and law enforcement.

At the MSU Extension workshops, local government officials will learn about options in prohibiting or accepting and regulating medical marijuana dispensaries, growing facilities, processing, product testing and transport facilities.

Mark Wyckoff, senior associate director of the MSU Land Policy Institute and director of the Planning and Zoning Center at MSU, says of the new laws, “There is no right answer other than communities making an informed choice that works for that community. The training will help communities understand these risks and how to evaluate them.”

Trainings will be held throughout February and March at 11 locations. The workshops run from 6-9 p.m. and Master Citizen Planners will earn three hours of continuing education credits. The cost is $55, or $50 for Master Citizen Planners or those in groups of two or more from the same municipality. Registration ends Feb. 13.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)