On Monday, some major changes to Michigan’s medical marijuana law will go into effect. Lawmakers passed the changes last session in order to eliminate some of the gray areas within the program.
The first bill that goes into effect requires physicians to complete face to face evaluations of potential medical marijuana patients, review their medical records, and assess their condition and history. The amendment also requires physicians to conduct follow up appointments with patients to see if the use of medical marijuana is working to help their symptoms.
Additionally, going forward state medical marijuana cards will be valid for two years instead of one, saving patients money and time. However, now cards will be slightly more difficult to obtain, as patients will be required to show proof of residence in order to receive a medical marijuana registration card.
Another significant change that could cause problems for some Michigan patients is that caregivers will now be disqualified from legally providing marijuana to patients if they have committed a felony within the past 10 years or if they have ever committed assault. Before this amendment was past, the only regulation on caregivers was that they could not have been convicted of drug felony charges.
These changes are a step in the right direction for creating a more regulated system for Michigan. However, lawmakers’ work is not done yet. Last month, Representative Mike Callton introduced a bill to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries in the state in response to the state Supreme Court’s recent ruling that collectives are illegal.