The Detroit Free Press reported that two testing labs were granted licenses by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board, ensuring that a critical piece of the state’s medical marijuana market is now in place.
Although the board approved seven licenses in July, none of them were for testing facilities, a necessary element for medical pot to make it from growers to processors and dispensaries.
Once the testing facilities get their licenses, they can begin testing cannabis and products that will be sold in dispensaries.
“This means we have a complete system now, so the licensees can actually begin operating,” said Andrew Brisbo, director of the state’s Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.
Ben Rosman, CEO of Ann Arbor-based PSI Laboratories, said his company has been testing marijuana products for caregivers for three years and is now looking forward to functioning in the regulated market.
"Michigan has the second-biggest medical marijuana patient population in the country," he said. "Once it really starts to kick off, it's going to be huge."
Michigan has 289,205 licensed MMJ patients, out of its 10 million people; California has 915,845 out of a population of 39.5 million. Hence, Michigan has more medical marijuana patients per capita than any state in the entire country.
Meanwhile in Ohio
While cannabis is legally being grown in Ohio, state officials admit that its fledgling medical marijuana program will not be fully operational by the target date of Sept. 8, 2018.
There is still no product that can be legally purchased in Ohio, but somehow the state considers itself to be technically compliant with that legal target date.
“Now those words on a page [in a law] have become licensed businesses, employers, [and] doctors, and I think that’s a very important thing to step back and see,” said Mark Hamlin, senior policy adviser with Ohio’s Department of Commerce.
“I understand…that the public’s expectations around Sept. 8 have been for product to be available…It is coming together,” he said.
The question is: when?