Michiganders support regulating private marijuana farmers, per new poll

Michigan residents want tighter control of medical cannabis sales, according to a poll conducted by Michigan’s largest cannabis growers.

Results of the bipartisan poll, commissioned by the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association, were rolled out in a virtual press conference last week.

“The vast majority of Michiganders want to rein in unlicensed cannabis,” said Steve Linder, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturer’s Association, in the press conference. “Michiganders want everyone to play by the same rules.”

The results demonstrate support for a group of bills recently introduced that would sharply curb the state’s legal caregiver system in regards to growing cannabis – from 60 to 10 plants and a 75% decrease in patient plant allowances, from 12 to three. Caregivers essentially provide patients who have a doctor’s recommendation with cannabis. These caregivers are allowed to grow and supply cannabis to several patients who regularly purchase medical cannabis, according to growersnetwork.org.

Messaging for 10 new regulations offered in the proposed group of bills all found majority support, according to the poll.

For example, 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?”

Key findings of the statewide survey include:

  • 82% support requiring unlicensed marijuana growers who grow for more than one patient to have their product tested for harmful substances using the same standards as current licensed growers and processors.
  • 78% support medical marijuana and recreational marijuana being subject to the same regulation, like testing, tracking, licensing and safety.
  • 71% support requiring unlicensed marijuana growers to report where they grow marijuana to the state.
  • 71% support requiring unlicensed marijuana growers who grow for more than one patient to obtain a license through the state.
  • 68% support amending the 2008 Medical Marijuana law by adding new regulations for unlicensed marijuana growers who grow marijuana for more than one patient.

“Michigan is at a crossroads when it comes to cannabis, and this poll tells us Michiganders want increased accountability and transparency in our burgeoning regulated cannabis market,” Linder said in a press release. “The survey also tells us they want to know where their cannabis comes from, regardless if they purchase it for medical or recreational use.”

The statewide survey was conducted Aug. 19-23 among 577 likely 2022 voters. The research was done by two firms, one Democratic firm called Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and one Republican firm called Public Opinion Strategies.

Statewide cannabis sales totaled $165.6 million in August, according to the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency. That’s a year-over-year increase of 52%.

The speakers at the conference made a point to say that the consensus reached on the proposed regulations in the survey proves that Michiganders want more transparency as cannabis sales continue to increase.

However, some medical marijuana caregivers are protesting the proposed legislation.

The poll results came one day after medical marijuana caregivers protested on the steps of the Capitol building in Lansing, according to WGVU News.

They say that the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association, the organization that commissioned the poll to be done, is nothing more than a lobby group for some of the largest cannabis companies in Michigan and are reportedly behind the effort to squeeze out the little guy and dominate the marijuana market in the state.

Representatives for the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association declined to reveal how much the trade organization paid for the polling.

Angela Mulka