Plan to sell medical marijuana at pharmacies clears state Senate

maijuana plantsMichigan medical marijuana patients would be able to buy cannabis at pharmacies under a bill that cleared the state Senate Wednesday. Although, that would only happen if the federal government decides to regulate marijuana as a prescription drug.

“It’s a straight-forward bill that seeks to treat medical marijuana like other drugs, or at least to offer that option to our people, one that will ensure safe and secure production, followed by testing to protect seriously ill patients,” said bill sponsor Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw Township).

Kahn says regulating marijuana like other drugs would help make sure products are tested for things like pesticides and mold.

Senate Bill 660 is being championed by Prairie Plant Systems, the Canadian government’s sole provider of medical marijuana. A number of state lawmakers recently toured the company’s facilities in Saskatchewan.

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) questions whether the legislation is meant to benefit Michigan residents or corporate interests. She says too many state-licensed patients do not have access to medical marijuana, and the legislation would do nothing to help them.

“Shouldn’t we spend our time and taxpayer resources fixing the current system, rather than streamlining it for a potential corporation that’s out of state, based on a contingency?” Whitmer asked on the Senate floor before the vote.

Pro-marijuana advocates also oppose the bill. They say it would threaten the ability of state-licensed caregivers and patients to grow their own cannabis under the state’s voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act.

The bill now goes to the state House.

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