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Michigan medical marijuana businesses to Legislature: Approve strong regulations to create new revenue

With revenue projected to be $460 million less than predicted, medical marijuana can provide much-needed revenue for Michigan

Mature Cannabis plant/Public Domain photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Mature Cannabis plant/Public Domain photo courtesy of Wikipedia

LANSING – The Michigan Cannabis Development Association (MCDA) recently urged Michigan legislators to pass a proposal that would establish a strong regulatory framework for medical marijuana that would provide a much-needed source of revenue for Michigan, after the revenue-estimating conference announced a $460 million deficit combined for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

“Medical marijuana can generate significant revenue for the State of Michigan under a framework that emphasizes accountability, transparency and economic competition during a time when Michigan’s debt is growing quickly,” said Willie Rochon, vice president of the MCDA, which represents medical marijuana businesses in metro Detroit and across Michigan.

“These strong regulations will generate tens of millions of dollars in much-needed revenue, and we urge the Michigan Legislature to pass this framework without delay.”

A February 2016 economic impact analysis by Hillsdale College economist Gary Wolfram found a strong regulatory framework for medical marijuana would generate between $40 million and $60 million a year in revenue, or beyond.

Wolfram’s analysis of the proposed legislation also found:

  • municipalities would receive $4.4 million to $6.3 million;
  • counties would get $5.9 million to $8.5 million;
  • county sheriffs would receive $800,000 to $1.1 million;
  • Michigan’s General Fund would get $3.7 million to $5.3 million.

The revenue distribution is based on an excise tax of 3 percent on all medical marijuana retailers, as proposed in the legislation.

In addition to providing a much-needed source of revenue, the proposed bills (HB 4209, HB 4210 and HB 4827) create a framework for increasing accountability and traceability of medical marijuana.

The bills include separating medical marijuana businesses into distinct “tiers” of producers or growers; testing facilities; secure transfer services that transport medical marijuana from one location to another; and retailers or sellers.

The bills also require background checks of and training for people working in the industry, licensing, inspections and other safeguards designed to ensure only patients with a doctor’s recommendation get medical marijuana.


ABOUT THE MICHIGAN CANNABIS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATON

The Michigan Cannabis Development Association is a trade organization made up of Michigan business leaders and entrepreneurs in diverse sectors of the economy.

It is united by a common goal of promoting a strong framework to regulate, inspect and license medical cannabis and cannabis businesses in Michigan.

MCDA is focused on establishing a cannabis industry in Michigan focused on safety and responsibility while preventing industry monopolization. MCDA aims to prevent the unchecked proliferation of unregulated, unsafe and illegal “pot shops” and related illicit trade, and promote the safe and regulated distribution of lab-tested medical cannabis products to qualified, registered Michigan medical marihuana patients.

MCDA partners with local communities and local law enforcement to prevent teen drug use, illegal and interstate drug trafficking, and drug crimes, and promotes safe city neighborhoods through community education, outreach and economic development.

MCDA is governed by a code of ethics designed to ensure all member businesses uphold the highest standards of ethical, responsible and legal behavior.

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