MILegalize Extends Deadline For Petition Signatures

MICHIGAN: A Lansing-based group collecting signatures to get a marijuana-legalization question on statewide ballots next year says it’s extending its petition campaign past a previous deadline of Dec. 21 that its leaders had set.

“For a variety of reasons, MILegalize is extending its campaign,”  Lansing attorney Jeffrey Hank, chair of the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee, said this weekend.

“We’re really strong financially,” Hank said.  “We’ve received or have pledged to us more than $500,000.”

Rules For Marijuana Shops Debated At Detroit Hearing

MICHIGAN: Concerned Detroiters who cringe at the rapid spread of marijuana dispensaries and medical marijuana card-holders who say they rely on the product for treatment packed a public hearing Monday to debate proposed regulations of the city’s medical marijuana industry.

The Detroit City Council is considering a proposal that includes a way to license the city’s approximately 150 medical marijuana shops. The proposal also has zoning restrictions on how close they can operate near schools, churches and other dispensaries.

Eunice Gantt, a lifelong Detroiter, said the growing number of marijuana dispensaries hurts the city’s reputation.  “I’m concerned about the fact there’s so many dispensaries here when you look at other cities,” Gantt said. “We are becoming a laughing joke.”

Report: Detroit Has 148 Marijuana Dispensaries

MICHIGAN: A new report pegs the number of marijuana dispensaries in Detroit at 148.

Prior to the report, Detroit public officials could not say how many dispensaries there are, partly because they are opening at such a rapid pace but mostly because the city does not keep track of them.

The City Council is debating proposed licensing regulations. A public hearing is set for 10 a.m. Monday.

Michigan Sees Another Dip In Medical Marijuana Patients

MICHIGAN: The number of patients in Michigan’s medical marijuana program declined for the second year in a row in 2014, according to state statistics reviewed by The Detroit News.

Last year, the number of identification cards for patients in the program totaled 96,408, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. That compares with 119,470 patients in 2011, and 118,368 in 2013.

The downward trend continued in Metro Detroit, too, with the number of medical marijuana patients falling in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties for a third straight year.

Fired Marijuana Users Shouldn’t Receive Unemployment Aid, Group Says

MICHIGAN:  Michigan’s leading business group is urging the state appeals court to rule out jobless benefits for people who are fired for using medical marijuana.

The appeals court has cases involving people who sought benefits after being dismissed. Judges in Kent and Ingham counties have ruled in favor of the workers.

Rich Studley of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce says businesses are in a “no-win situation.” He says employers would have to ignore marijuana use or else pay higher unemployment taxes if a fired worker collects unemployment aid.