MICHIGAN — Cannabis is a big deal in Michigan, and there’s never a shortage of newsworthy headlines from the industry as the state inches closer to becoming the nation’s weed capital.
Here are seven things you need to know this week:
DANK BRANDON: President Joe Biden’s Health and Human Services Department recommended that the Drug Enforcement Administration downgrade cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III—the same drug category as Tylenol. It’s the first time that an arm of the federal government has formally suggested reclassifying cannabis since the start of the War on Drugs.
HELPING WORKERS: Because marijuana is still considered by the federal government to be a dangerous narcotic, existing regulatory restrictions have prevented Michiganders who work in the industry from accessing banking services. As a result, downgrading the Schedule I classification would reportedly help more Michigan companies to access those services.
LET THERE BE WEED: The state’s biggest Labor Day weekend festival reportedly included a reserved space for the sale and consumption of cannabis. And experts expect more concerts, festivals, and other public gatherings in Michigan will soon feature the same sort of thing.
BANDING TOGETHER: About 25 employees at an Ascend Cannabis store in Grand Rapids reportedly secured immediate pay raises after they voted to ratify a new union contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The deal reportedly marks the second collective bargaining agreement in the state’s cannabis industry that was ratified by the Teamsters; The United Food and Commercial Workers Union also represents cannabis workers in Michigan.
BUSY DOCTORS: The results of a recent state audit are reportedly raising concerns after just 18 Michigan doctors were found to have been responsible for nearly 62% of the 134,709 medical marijuana patient certifications issued between April 2021 and September 2022.
GRASS IS GREENER: Michigan is poised to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue while elected leaders in neighboring states (like Indiana) still resist legalizing pot.
WEED 101: Northern Michigan University is reportedly the first school in the state to apply for a marijuana educational research license, which would allow it to bring cannabis plants into the classroom. The license is still awaiting approval from the state’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency.
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