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    Michigan House Bill 4827 was recently passed in the House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate for consideration. This bill tags along with House Bill 4209, which creates the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act. This act establishes licensing and regulation for medical marijuana growers, processors, transporters, provisioning centers, and safety compliance facilities. House Bill 4827 creates the Marijuana Tracking Act which requires a “seed-to-sale” system to track marijuana grown, processed, transferred, stored, or disposed. Both of these bills tie in with each other, meaning that if one does not pass, the other also will not pass. (Summary as passed by the House). More specifically House Bill 4827 requires a system that tracks everything involving marijuana and marijuana products including licensing, growth, sale, etc. Since this bill requires a type of system that is considered “seed-to-sale,” Michigan is seeking to join, along with a majority of the other states that have allowed the use of medical marijuana, a service called BioTrackTHC. This is a software package that allows a state to keep track of the production phase inventory, grow phase tracking, and most importantly, sales and dispensary business software. It is a database that can hold the information of those who are licensed to grow and purchase, those who can sell, the intake of products, and the final sale.

     

    The purpose of these bills is to provide ways to improve safety for the patients and proved safe products. Tracking marijuana allows a secure way for dispensaries to ensure that the strains they are providing for their patients are properly identified, doses are regulated, and the product itself is tested properly for safety. A system of tracking also provides a way for the state to ensure that those who use marijuana medicinally are safe from interference from the federal government because it is still considered an illegal substance nationwide. This factor is incredibly important to understand because the federal law always stands over state laws when they conflict. However, there is a loophole in that states can decriminalize the medical use of marijuana if they keep the sale, use, and taxes all within the sate without the use of any federal funding or land (FindLaw.com). Therefore, entering a gray area where states can still allow the use, growth, and sale of medical marijuana without impeding on federal drug laws. Most people are in favor of this program because it allows them to keep track of their caregivers, those who are licensed and purchasing, as well as keep them and their patients legal under state laws. The only backlash these bills appear to have is that the system would require dispensaries to track everything down to the last strain, which they feel is excessive.

     

    This bill was passed in the House of Representatives 99-7 and is now awaiting the approval of the Senate. The bill provides a system that ensures that those who are providing and consuming marijuana and marijuana products are doing so safely and legally. Although some argue that the amount of required information is excessive, it is a necessary safety precaution to keep the plants pure and patients healthy. House Bills 4827 and 4209 should be passed and implemented at some point in the calendar year.

     

    References:
    1. Stutzky, Susan. "Michigan Legislature." - House Bill 4827 (2015). N.p., 17 Aug. 2015. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
    2. http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(mkgeo2ukkehfy2bysselxeis))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=2015-HB-4827
    3. "#1 Medical Marijuana Software: MMJ Dispensary POS | BioTrackTHC." #1 Medical Marijuana Software: MMJ Dispensary POS | BioTrackTHC. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
    4. BioTrackTHC, https://www.biotrackthc.com/
    5. "Marijuana Legalization and Decriminalization Overview." Findlaw. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.
    http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/marijuana-legalization-and-decriminalization-overview.html

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