Lawmaker behind new rules expects medical marijuana boom for MI

In this Sept. 15, 2015 file photo, marijuana plants with their buds covered in white crystals grow at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — More medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to apply in 2017 to legally open in Michigan. A set of bills signed by Gov. Rick Snyder have created the framework for the legalization of dispensaries and production of edibles.

You may remember recent raids that shut down medical marijuana dispensaries in West Michigan. The new state laws will let people apply for a license to legally grow and sell marijuana.

Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, is behind the three bills that create the licensing and regulatory framework for medical marijuana.

“It’s going to create more jobs, it’s going to generate some tax revenue for the state and municipalities,” said Callton.

The representative says the change in law is good for everyone. It will help marijuana patients at the same time, improve the health of our economy.

“Right now, our largest crop in the state is the corn crop, which is to my understanding is somewhere around a billion dollars a year,” said Callton. “This will easily exceed that, if not double triple that within a few years.”

The bills will allow people to apply for five types of licenses. A grower’s license, a secure transport license; to move the marijuana and money, a testing laboratory license, a processing license; to extract oils and create edibles and a retail license.

“It could be very much like a liquor license,” said Callton.

People will have to apply for the state license, get approved by the board and pay a fee. The fees are expected to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, if not higher. On top of the license, applicants will have to pay the municipality. The license may be pricey, but potential profit is also high.

One study reported by the NBC affiliate in Denver found that in 2015, Colorado netted more than $990 million dollars from marijuana sales.

If you are looking to get in on the green rush, you will have to wait a bit. Applications won’t be accepted until Dec. 15, 2017. Patients will likely have to wait until spring of 2018 for dispensaries to legally open.

***CORRECTION: The original version of this story incorrectly stated more dispensaries would open in 2017. WOOD TV8 apologizes for this error, which has since been corrected.***