Week in Review: Michigan Dispensary Raids, Ohio Legalization Obstruction + Mixed MMJ Bag in Florida

By on July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015
marijuana news

By John Schroyer

Police punish Michigan’s medical cannabis market, a bid to legislate marijuana in Ohio faces a significant problem, and Florida’s MMJ effort moves forward while its CBD program takes a step back.

Right here’s a more detailed take a look at several noteworthy advancements in the cannabis market over the previous week.

Raids Ramping Up

There have been a series of continuous raids and legal actions against Michigan MMJ dispensaries by law enforcement this year, and long time activist/industry onlooker Rick Thompson thinks he knows who’s behind it: the Michigan Sheriffs Association.

“It’s the outcome of one certain company aiming to reassert control over what they thought was an out-of-control market in the state,” said Thompson, editor of the Empathy Chronicles, a site that concentrates on marijuana-related developments in the Midwest.

The association drew on its members’ strength in December to eliminate a pair of expenses that would have empowered Michigan’s medical cannabis industry, and since then the sheriffs have actually been doing all they can to chip away at the industry’s development, he said.

“Since (December), we’ve seen a ramp-up of attacks in northern Michigan and in backwoods,” Thompson stated. “In the population centers, like Detroit and Flint and Ann Arbor, we’re not seeing that trend. The sheriffs are much more powerful in the rural neighborhoods than in the metropolitan locations, which’s where we see the muscle being flexed.”

Thompson also kept in mind that several neighborhoods, such as Ann Arbor and Flint, have actually embraced licensing for dispensaries “even without a state law mandating that they doing this.” In those towns, he stated, dispensaries are generally on stable ground.

But, Thompson said, he thinks the raids will most likely reduce– if they haven’t currently pertain to an end– because of negative responses from the media, homeowners and supporters.

“As long as the outrage continues, as long as the demonstrations continue, sheriffs have a need to stop raiding MMJ centers,” Thompson said. “If the demonstrations back off … the sheriffs will end up being more aggressive.”

Ohio Legalization in Doubt

A well-funded campaign to legalize both medical and leisure marijuana in Ohio came across a significant issue this week on its way to qualifying for the tally.

The Secretary of State’s workplace announced that the group fell short on the number of signatures had to qualify the procedure, and the company has until next Thursday making up the deficiency.

It’s a shocking development provided the campaign had generated more than double the amount of trademarks required. Around 400,000 of the almost 700,000 trademarks collected were eventually thrown away after officials considered them void.

NaderAd1 2 Week in Review: Michigan Dispensary Raids, Ohio Legalization Roadblock + Mixed MMJ Bag in FloridaAt this point, ResponsibleOhio– the group behind the effort– have to get another 29,509 legitimate signatures in order to make the ballot.

That’s a tall order, stated Paul Beck, a professor emeritus of government at Ohio State University.

“I have no concept whether they’ll meet their target in the time staying,” Beck said. “They’re putting a lot of money into it, they’re experienced canvassers, so I would assume they feel very positive that they’ll be able to please the criteria, however we’ll have to wait and see.”

One huge issue for groups such as ResponsibleOhio is that their main base of support is commonly younger voters. That bloc is one of the most unreliable when it comes to providing accurate info, such as the address at which they’re registered to vote instead of the address where they live.

“That’s especially troublesome for young people,” Beck said.

Beck included that a “conservative price quote” for the variety of trademarks ResponsibleOhio staffers would have to kip down the second time around is at least 70,000, assuming that most likely tens of thousands will certainly be marked down for one reason or another.

Even if the measure makes the tally, Beck only provided it a 50 % possibility of being successful. He stated that the way the effort is structured– to give only 10 cultivation sites statewide and hand the control of those websites to rich project investors– supplies critics with lots of ammo.

And that’s not even considering another ballot step offered by state legislators that attempts to block ResponsibleOhio from developing a “constitutional monopoly.”

Mixed Bag in Florida

While Florida’s project to legalize medical marijuana took yet another stride to the 2016 tally this week, news also broke that the state’s CBD program has experienced yet another prospective roadblock that would postpone licensing.

The CBD program, which was passed into law in 2013 essentially as an effort by the legislature to undercut MMJ legalization, has actually been delayed time and time once again.

The problem this time: A crucial official managing the program has actually resigned her post, feeding fears that the state won’t reveal the five CBD license winners on Aug. 8 as intended.

If the state progresses in a timely way, the license winners might still have time to obtain their operations up and running by early next year, just months ahead of the 2016 election. That ostensibly would make it simpler for them to shift into a wider MMJ business, whether just on the growing side, the giving side, or both.

However if management delays keep holding up the CBD program, there’s an opportunity license winners won’t stand up and running before the 2016 November elections, when a step to develop a much broader, more traditional medical cannabis law would be on the tally. That might render the entire CBD program a moot point if it’s not up and running by that time.

The opportunities seem strong that Florida could undoubtedly press through MMJ legalization next year.

United for Care– the campaign behind the 2014 MMJ push in Florida– is expressing growing confidence about the 2016 elections.

In a statement, United for Care Project Supervisor Ben Pollara called the present campaign a “huge head start” over in 2013’s attempt. The group has more than 13,000 volunteers in addition to millionaire attorney John Morgan, who’s assisting bankroll the campaign.

John Schroyer can be reached at [e-mail secured]

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