Caregivers should supplement MMJ shortage

Michigan has 300,000 registered medical cannabis patients in its system, but patient access to medical cannabis is limited in the state. A cannabis supply shortage and an imbalance within the supply chain are primarily to blame, but there is a solution.

Under the existing legal framework, Michigan licenses cannabis growers to sell either 500 plants (Class A), 1,000 plants (Class B) or 1,500 plants (Class C). As of March 18, Michigan has issued only three Class A licenses, one class B license and 13 Class C licenses.

Even with advances in technology allowing for shorter plant growth cycles, the number of available medical cannabis plants for Michigan's 300,000 patients is not nearly enough to keep up with current demand.

Compounding things, Michigan has only 11 licensed cannabis processors for packaging and labeling, four licensed cannabis testing facilities, and five licensed cannabis transporters.

As one example of the logistical problems this creates, consider the town of Houghton in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Houghton has only one licensed provisioning center, but depends on a transporter from downstate to supply it with its product, hardly an ideal situation for patients or a provisioning center.

Currently, Michigan has fewer than 60 licensed provisioning centers that are required to service all 300,000 patients, not nearly enough in a state that spans 100,000 square miles.


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