A dangerous criminal guards her illicit narcotics.

The “Cannabis Safety Act” is dangerous to Michiganders

Our legislature has a serious monopoly addiction, and it’s destroying lives.

A brief history of Michigan’s legal cannabis industry

The problem with monopolies is that they handcuff the invisible hand of the free market. Corporations big enough to control their own regulation and supply chains aren’t operating under the laws of supply and demand, they’re operating under their own rules. This ultimately means that consumers don’t get what they want, they get what corporations want to sell them — and they get it at a premium price.

The state’s history of persecuting caregivers & the medical incompetence of large grows

I’ll get to HB 5300–5302 here shortly, but I need to take a moment to emphasize the incredible legal persecution caregivers — aka medical cannabis providers — in Michigan have faced since its legalization in 2008.

What is the “Cannabis Safety Act”?

It’s complicated, that’s what.

  • Limits caregivers’ number of patients they can have, which is currently five, to one, bringing their maximum allowance of plants down from 60 to 12 — currently the same number allotted to homegrowers. This removes any incentive caregivers have to operate under a caregiver license. It effectively shuts down the caregiver program.
  • A new “specialty medical grower” designation is made which mimicks caregivers currently — but which imposes a litany of costly and impractical restrictions, and is basically a joke.

The impact on medical marijuana patients — aka the “least of these”

As it turns out, there’s little profit margin to be had with labor-intensive, craft-batch quality medical grade products like RSO, enemas, and terpene distillates. Also, many medical patients have, by now, developed a relationship with a reliable caregiver who can cater batches to their specific needs. So the large-scale commercial manufacturers — which is most manufacturers now, thanks to the monopolization of the early regulated industry under the Snyder administration — simply don’t make them.

Meet the bill’s sponsoring representatives and lobbyists

The bills themselves are sponsored by Republican state House Representatives Lilly, Steenland, and Clements. The lobbying group pushing the bill is the opaque Michigan Cannabis Manufacturer Association, which represents less than half of commercial licensees in the state. They declined to share with me a list of their funding members, but the list is rumored to include the likes of Skymint, RedBud, and Fluresh, to name a few.

Their transparently lame argument

Mouthpiece Linder and his colleagues supporting this bill seem to have forgotten what state they’re in. His argument at the October 4th hearing, which was not time limited as the public’s were, consisted of comparing bottles of alcohol and over the counter allergy medication he’d purchased from the store, cannabis products from a major commercial facility, and what he claimed was caregiver product in a plastic baggie. He proceeded to wring his hands over the lack of labelling and lab testing information on the caregiver product, lamenting that “we have no idea where it came from!”, insisting that Michigan consumers expect their products to be fully regulated and taxed, like these other products.

In conclusion

I know it’s probably a very unpopular opinion, but if there’s any problem in this state with dangerous, unregulated substances, I’d say that substance is clearly lobbying income to our city and state officials and media outlets. Corporate money is flowing, completely unregulated, into the pockets of our elected civil servants and media, with the goal of destroying the free market. THIS is the truly dangerous, addictive narcotic which is tearing apart communities and causing violence. The poison which is handicapping communities’ ability to be self-reliant, and resilient.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
marjorie steele

poet, educator, hillbilly gnostic pagan. teaching business to designers.