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State Court of Appeals decided medical marijuans act doesn’t protect dispensaries

Barton Deiters

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It looks like the state Court of Appeals has pounded another nail into the coffin of marijuana dispensaries in Michigan.

A pair of West Michigan men who faced little to no jail time after they reached plea deals for distributing medical marijuana appealed their cases, which took a circuitous route through court system.

The result is the new decision severely limiting how marijuana can be obtained under the voter-approved Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.

“It’s confusing, even just speaking it, you go, ‘Well, wait a minute, this doesn’t make any sense,” said Matt Hoffmann, a self-described expert in the medical marijuana industry.

Under the ruling, it appears that the only way that medical marijuana patients can get their weed is by either growing it themselves or getting it from an approved caregiver who can serve no more than five patients.

>>PDF: The court’s ruling

It’s a blow to dispensaries in Michigan, which were already operating under a shadowy system of enforcement that varies from one county to another. In Kent County, for example, dispensaries have been the subjects of raids and prosecutions that have all but eliminated them. But in Ingham County, the attitude is to allow them to operate until there is clear direction from the legislature or judiciary.

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