CS: For starters, if you can, fill us in on the outlook for HB4271 in the Senate. We’re currently waiting for a vote, which did not happen as Sen. Richardville expressed would indeed happen. Do you anticipate a lame duck session?
Rep Callton: I think that HB 4271 could be run in the lame duck session. Presently we are working with concerns with the Governor’s office, the State Police and the Attorney General.
CS: If HB4271 passes, what is the next step to getting Provisioning Centers in compliance?
Rep Callton: Depending if any changes are made in the Senate or Governor’s office regarding local control. They will have to comply with testing requirements and limitations on felon involvement.
CS: Do you see a clean-up bill after 4271/5104 pass? Lots of questions on certain gray areas throughout the bill are being expressed throughout the community and Lansing.
Rep Callton: The Medical Marijuana issue has many facets. I think several more bills are required to insure the safety of patients and the protection of patients, caregivers, testing facilities and provisioning centers.
CS: Do you feel the bill itself, HB4271, with the gray areas and room for interpretation still present with some of the language, do you feel Provisioning Centers will have a hard time with State police as far as protections for the business owners?
Rep Callton: No matter how grey, black or white the bill is...the State Police may choose to test it... or they may not. We’ll just have to see.
CS: As we all know, you have worked hard with advocates in Michigan to broaden the acceptance for positive medical marijuana legislation in the state. What are your thoughts on where the industry is currently and where it needs to go from here on out?
Rep Callton: Right now I think the industry is rough around the edges. Professionalism, consistency and high standards need to be top priority.
CS: One more time, for our readers, can you please explain why the “local option” of 4271 is necessary, or was chosen in particular. I know lots of citizens are nervous that their opinions will be overlooked by their local lawmakers and they are concerned that safe access is unlikely for their town/cities. What is your best advice to patients and caregivers who wish to see support from their community and lawmakers for Provisioning Centers?
Rep Callton: The local option was necessary to make this HB 4271 politically palatable... it wouldn’t have gone anywhere in the legislature without it. Provisioning centers must work closely with their communities to make them comfortable with this new healing profession. Pay attention to distance from schools and churches when choosing a location. Your business signs should be professional and not an embarrassment to your community.
CS: There are talks in Lansing that some Canadian lobbyist is in Michigan in hopes of lobbying on behalf of Canadian cannabis big businesses.. Do you think the Senate Bill 660 (pharmaceutical grade cannabis) or any other Canadian/out of state/foreign strategy or lobbying efforts will impede our Michigan Medical Marijuana program? Or do you believe the will of the people that passed in ‘08 is strong enough to withstand outside ventures to overrule or compromise the MMMA?
Rep Callton: There are Big Marijuana interests in Canada that are looking closely at the Michigan medical marijuana market. Their style is a big central grow with distribution directly to the patient by courier. There is more than one Canadian company involved. To be clear the lobbyists are Michigan lobbyists hired by Canadian companies.
Thank you Representative Callton for answering some of the questions being asked throughout Michigan. Also, thank you for all of your hard work supporting the medical marijuana community and helping to shed light on the importance of safe access in Michigan!