Michigan has a relatively strong and active medical marijuana scene. Now, patients in the state will enjoy expanded access with the 11 new qualifying conditions.
Michigan’s New Qualifying Medical Conditions
Prior to the new expansion, patients in Michigan could qualify for medical marijuana if they had one of several conditions. These included illnesses like PTSD, cancer, glaucoma, HIV, Hepatitis C, ALS, and several others.
While that list covered numerous patients in the state, many have been calling for extending access to a larger number of patients. It appears that the state government listened.
The new health conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in Michigan are:
- Chronic pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
As reported by local news sources, the change to Michigan’s list of qualifying health conditions goes into effect immediately. And while this new law will certainly increase the number of patients who qualify for medical marijuana, it doesn’t cover everything.
In fact, there were 11 other conditions being considered. These included anxiety, asthma, diabetes, depression, and a variety of other issues. None of these 11 were added to Michigan’s list of qualifying health conditions.
Despite Tensions, Michigan Expands Medical Marijuana Program
The past year or so has been a bit of a roller coaster for legal weed in Michigan. Michigan initially legalized medical marijuana way back in 2008. Since then, the state has seen a huge explosion of medical marijuana dispensaries.
Then things got tense last year. Claiming concern that there were too many dispensaries in Michigan, state lawmakers decided to create a new set of rules. At one point, there was talk that dispensaries throughout the state could be shut down.
After an intense showdown between authorities working to shut down dispensaries and a group of lawyers, patients, activists, and business owners, Michigan ultimately decided to let dispensaries stay open.
More recently, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced another change to the medical marijuana program. It banned dispensaries from using more than a dozen words. For example, dispensaries cannot use the word “dispensary.” Instead, they now have to call themselves “provisioning centers.”
Medical marijuana isn’t the only active front in cannabis legislation. There has been a strong legalization movement in Michigan for years. And fortunately for this group of Michiganders, things could be moving in their direction.
Last month, word broke that Michigan voters will see a legalization initiative on the ballot this November. In April, the State Board of Canvassers determined that pro-legalization activists had gotten enough signatures to qualify a proposal for the ballot.
From there, state lawmakers had a 40-day period to raise any issues with the proposal. That deadline expired in June. As a result, it looks like residents in Michigan will finally get to vote on legalizing recreational weed. And according to recent data, the majority of Michigan residents are in favor of legalizing cannabis.