Michigan’s largest cannabis growers rolled out polling results in a virtual press conference last week, showing that state residents want tighter control of medical cannabis sales and thus, support for a suite of bills recently introduced that would sharply curb the state’s legal caregiver system.
“The vast majority of Michiganders want to rein in unlicensed cannabis. Michiganders want everyone to play by the same rules,” said Steve Linder, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturer’s Association (MCMA).
The group claims to represent over half of the state’s Class C growers, the license-type provided to only the largest cannabis producers. Many of the organization’s members have chosen to not publicly associate with MCMA.
Conducted in Mid-August, the Michigan statewide poll surveyed 577 likely 2022 voters to determine support for increased cannabis regulation in the state. For instance, one key question, which received 78% support from those polled, was, “Thinking about medical marijuana, do you think medical marijuana providers should be subject to the same regulations as recreational marijuana providers like testing, tracking, licensing and safety?”
Rick Thompson, executive director of MichiganNORML and an opponent of changes to caregiver laws, disputed the polling methodology.
“The MCMA is advantaged by having the public think there are only two types of commerce in Michigan: the regulated market and everything else,” said Thompson. “The MCMA lumps legal and registered cannabis commerce between patients and caregivers as equivalent to an illicit market; that may be convenient for the MCMA, but it isn’t factual nor is that the viewpoint of the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.”
The survey also tested messaging for ten new regulations offered in the proposed legislation, all of which found majority support, according to the poll.
“This provides a great financial incentive for everybody that is considered a current caregiver. You’re not allowed to sell your product now, only recoup your expenses. We are now providing a pathway to those who get specialty medical grow licenses at a very low barrier of entry,” Linder said.