Monday, July 10, 2017
VGIP UPDATE: July 2017 - by Ben Horner
Lansing: The first meeting of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board was held June 26th. Patients, caregivers, as well as current and aspiring business folks interested in obtaining one of the licenses authorized by the Marijuana Facilities Act, signed into law last year by governor, attended the meeting in large numbers.
The MMML board, made of five members, will be appointing an expanded advisory board that will require financial disclosures. Michigan Senator Rick Jones(R), who was in attendance, chairs the board. Jones is well known by medical marijuana activists for sponsoring legislation that adds restrictions to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program, including stoned/impaired driving legislation and most recently a bill to restrict advertising of medical marijuana to the general public, such as billboards.
The meeting allowed for public comment, but the board itself was not answering questions from attendees. Former state trooper and current MMML board member, Sergeant Bailey was put on the spot for his work in northern Michigan raids on patients and caregivers. He announced his belief that all current and previously operating medical marijuana facilities are illegal, drawing gasps from the crowd.
Chad Marrow from Gaylord objected to Bailey’s appointment to the board in a statement that drew support from many of his peers in the Michigan cannabis industry. Chad explained that Sgt. Bailey has stated on multiple occasions, that Medical Marijuana patients are just using the MMMA as a legal cover and has been harassing patients and caregivers.
Currently, communities like Pinconning are opting in to allow marijuana facilities, trying to get ahead of other communities that are waiting for the state to provide a liquor license style application process. Wes Crumby, Drew Driver and others from the now dormant Michigan Association of Compassion Centers (MACC) have been involved in developing commercial cultivation in northern Michigan in advance of being issued a state license. Wes Crumby and Drew drivers closed their dispensaries years ago and have been working with the authorities, and land owners with the objective of securing these state licenses. Driver and Crumby have been supplying dispensaries downstate to avoid legal entanglements with folks like recently retired Sgt. Bailey, who now is in a position to affect who gets a license.
Brad Forester from Michigan Norml, has been working with Wes Crumby on the Pinconning project, and informed the MMM Report that their group has been working with law enforcement and prosecutors in northern Michigan, to gain an inside track to acquiring these licenses. According to Forester, this secret pack has been around for almost tens years.