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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Vetoes Several Medical Cannabis Bills

The Michigan Governor. Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed eleven bills recently, including three bills regarding medical cannabis. Other bills were related to tax and retirement. Six other approved bills were signed by the governor. 

Michigan Advance reports that Whitmer said in her veto letter to the Legislature on Dec. 22 that the bills “were rushed through a lame duck session and need closer examination.”

Whitmer rejected a number of Republican-sponsored bills regarding medical cannabis that would have changed the distribution and processing of marijuana.

Rep. Roger Hauck (R – Union Township) introduced two bills that were vetoed: House Bill 5871, which would have amended state law to ease access to medical cannabis products, making them easier to be transferred from one facility to another. HB 5871 would also prohibit a background check of an applicant’s spouse under certain circumstances. 

House Bill 5965, on the other hand, would have updated some language and definitions in the state’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, such as the title for the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA).

A second bill related to medical cannabis was also vetoed. House Bill 5839, introduced by Rep. Pat Outman (R – Six Lakes), would have prevented the CRA from denying a person a license to sell cannabis based on their spouse’s job, including if their spouse works for the state or federal government.

“I look forward to working with the new Legislature in January on priorities that will continue our economic momentum, help lower costs, and expand education supports for Michigan students. It is time to be serious about solving problems and getting things done that will make working families’ lives better right now,” Whitmer wrote in her veto letter last month. 

Several other bills were vetoed such as bill package HB 4263–4266, which would have required that retirement systems for public school employees, state employees, judges, and state police to pay off debt over time in equal installments.

HB 4188, introduced by Rep. Thomas Albert (R – Lowell), would have amended the state’s Public School Employees Retirement Act. Other bills were also vetoed.

Michigan’s Cannabis Industry

The governor doesn’t want rushed bills coming to her desk. This may partly be because of other issues, even though production is increasing rapidly. PoliticoAccording to reports, the Michigan Cannabis Plants are six times more than the 2020 volume, creating a severe oversupply.

In Michigan, the price of marijuana has dropped 75% from almost $400 per ounce to $100 in just two years. Officials in the industry called for a moratorium to cultivator licenses because of this price drop.

MLive says 2022 has been a very good year for customers. On the other side, prices are much lower this year than they were in previous years. 

The November 2022 data shows that the average retail price for an ounce cannabis fell to $95, with some strains dropping to $60 in cannabis retail stores.

Retail cannabis sales are doing fantastic—on track to surpass $2 billion in annual tax revenue.

In August 2018, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer replaced outgoing former Cannabis Regulatory Agency Director Andrew Brisbo, who helped launch the state’s adult-use marijuana in December 2019, with Director Brian Hanna.

This year, the Democratic party is in control of both the Michigan House and Senate in Michigan’s Legislature. This is the first year that Democrats hold the majority of the legislature since 1984. Michigan’s House is adjourned until Wednesday, Jan. 11.