Bill wipes out over 95% of Synthetic Cannabis legislation passed in 2012; introduced on Oct. 31, Richardson’s bill is fast tracked and given a Committee hearing on Nov. 5th
by Rick Thompson for The Compassion Chronicles/Nov. 4 2013
LANSING- It’s politics as usual in the state capital, with financial influence pushing bills and carting legislators all over the continent.
The Senate Governmental Operations Committee has posted their agenda for Tuesday, November 5th, and the newly-introduced Prairie Plant Pharmaceutical Pot bill has managed to move to the head of the class. SB 660 was introduced on Thursday, October 31.
The ink isn’t even dry on the official copy and they are set to push the bill through Committee. Five days from introduction to consideration is, to say the least, remarkably fast. Sponsored by Sens. Randy Richardville, R- Monroe and Roger Kahn, R- Saginaw, the Bill is a 2013 version of last year’s Pharmaceutical Grade Cannabis bill. Pushed byCanadian marijuana manufacturing supergiant Prairie Plant Systems, the proposal would create a series of marijuana distribution centers across Michigan that would obtain their cannabis from a select few enormous growing operations like the ones Prairie Plant operates in Saskatoon.
A big part of the new SB 660 is the destruction of last year’s Synthetic Cannabis Bill. Sponsored by Senator Hildebrand, the bill outlawed the manufacture and sale of K2, Spice, bath salts and other substances that supposedly mimicked the effects of THC. SB 660 wipes out 127 lines of legislation that was signed by Governor Snyder amidst much fanfare, pomp and circumstance. Those 127 lines are replaced with three lines- (3) lines- in order to create a market for Prairie Plant and their products, marketed under the name Cannimed, intended for sale to Michigan’s most sick and ill individuals through big-box pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS.
Read more about SB 660’s elimination of the protections from synthetic cannabinoids HERE
Prairie Plant made media headlines when they took legislators on tours of their underground gardens located in old mines in Michigan. Their proposal, at the time, stemmed around cultivating marijuana in those mines; the idea seems to have moved out of the mines and into the countryside. SB 660 contains protections for a Prairie Plant-style manufacturer of cannabis from product liability lawsuits, from criminal charges and removes the ability for local communities to say no to the giant greenhouses.
Prairie Plant has shuttled legislators and, in some cases, staff members through the mines in Michigan and even flown them to the Saskatoon cultivation site. Rep. Michael Callton, R-Nashville, revealed on an interview show last week that he was leaving on Friday, November 8th, to be given the Canadian pot plantation tour along with other notables from the Michigan political arena.
With this kind of money invested in seducing the legislature, it should be no surprise that the bill was placed on the fast-track. Co-sponsor and Senate Majority Leader Richardville shuttled the bill into the Committee he chairs and he alone determines which issues are brought up for consideration, and when.
The bill is opposed by nearly all marijuana rights-based organizations in Michigan, as it was in 2012. “This bill creates a parallel registry system to the one contained in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMA),” said Jamie Lowell, Chairman of the Michigan chapter of Americans for Safe Access. “It creates a system that is less responsive to the needs of individual patients, and one that is based on a Canadian model that required all home-based cultivation of marijuana to cease.”
Michigan has a dispensary bill in the House of Representatives, HB 4271, which requires marijuana distribution centers to use locally-produced cannabis to sell to legally registered patients under the guidelines of the MMA. Nearly 30,000 individuals are currently licensed to cultivate marijuana in Michigan on behalf of their patients; most of the 130,000 patients registered through the MMA have enjoyed the right to grow their own cannabis for the last five years.
Read the entire bill, SB 660, HERE