Skubick: Medical marijuana taxation legislation moves to Senate

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Michigan House approved legislation yesterday to regulate the sale and distribution of medical marijuana along with taxing it.

Now the focus turns to the Senate to see if there is support for the measure.

State Sen. Arlan Meekhof summed up his opinion with “this is a messy, messy thing.”

Ever since voters in 2008 legalized medical marijuana, there’s been one controversy after another, including the proliferation of dispensaries in Lansing, which were eventually closed.

The House voted for state regulation of where the grass is proposed and sold and to inspect it.

And the Senate Judiciary chair, Sen. Rick Jones, reports he’s on board.

“The dispensaries will be carefully regulated,” said Sen. Jones. “I don’t want to see the wild, wild West we had in Lansing a few years before they were outlawed.”

The House plan imposed a six percent sales tax and a 3% excise tax on the product but some oppose that tax since the state does not tax prescription drugs.

“It’s not fair,” insists Rep. Scott Dianda. “We’re not taxing prescription drugs so let’s not tax people with their medical grade product.”

Another issue is protecting the shipment of medical marijuana all over the state.
Sen. Scott Bieda says it’s a security issue. “You have to be concerned about the security of, it’s almost like an armored truck when you think of the value of the items being transported.”

The senator added he thinks it’s possible people transporting the product could be targets for robbery.

Local governments would have the final say on whether the product is sold in their city.

Senator Jones say he will take three weeks to examine the bill before it is passed but he predicts “it will be done.”

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