The bill would also require marijuana to be sold in stores, a move that could limit the number of dispensaries in Washington and make it harder for people with chronic illnesses.
The Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would tighten the laws for medicinal marijuana caregivers, restricting the amount of marijuana they might cultivate.
Customers are boycotting big cannabis companies that support legislation that would reduce the amount of cannabis plants a caregiver may cultivate from 72 to 24.
The measure is opposed by Casey Kornoelje, the founder of Grand Rapids-based cannabis provisioner Farmhouse Wellness.
“For me, it would possibly reduce the quantity of cannabis I could deliver to my wife,” who suffers from Crohn’s disease and for whom Kornoelje is a caretaker, he added.
He began as a caregiver, cultivating plants at home and distributing them directly to patients for medicinal usage. He now sells medical and recreational marijuana at his business.
“You’re probably not going to harvest 72 plants all at once.” To ensure a regular supply of cannabis for their patients, these caregivers are likely splitting it down into pieces – some in the seedling stage, some in the vegetative stage, and finally some in the bloom stage. “When you break it down, it’s actually not as high of a plant count as people believe,” Kornoelje said.
The measure’s author, State Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Township, said his bill is about two things: patients and communities. Caregivers, unlike shops, are not obligated to test their marijuana for purity, according to him.
“Right now, two-thirds of the cannabis business in Michigan is unregulated, which means the bulk of that stuff might be untested,” Lilly said. “Having access to a safe product is critical for cancer patients and others in immunocompromised conditions.” Mold, insecticides, E. coli, and salmonella have been discovered in some of this untested items.”
According to him, the law will limit the number of plants cultivated in residential regions while increasing the number of plants planted in commercial and agricultural sectors.
“New York recently did some of this work, and they did around 12 plants for six patients, compared to what I’ve recommended at 24, but our present legislation allows for 72, which everyone who grows or cultivates cannabis knows is much more than six people can possible ingest,” Lilly added.
Some perceive the invoices as a tool for corporate operations to gain market share from smaller firms. The caretaker system, according to Kornoelje, is critical to the economy.
“This is a cottage industry, but it’s also an industry that provides employment and auxiliary business,” Kornoelje said.
He believes that legislation is not the best method to address quality problems.
“I can’t answer for the state’s 30-plus thousand producers and what they have in their gardens.” However, I can’t image you doing that if you have a nice heart. And if that’s the case, let’s deal with it front on,” Kornoelje remarked.
House Bills 5300, 5301, and 5302 have passed out of committee and are now being examined by the whole House.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How much marijuana can a caregiver grow in Michigan?
How many medical marijuana caregivers are in Michigan?
A: There is no accurate number of medical marijuana caregivers in Michigan.
Can caregivers sell to dispensaries in Michigan?
A: No, caregivers cannot sell to dispensary in Michigan.