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Options for U.P. Medical Marijuana Users

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WHITE PINE -- It's been about two years since the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was enacted, a relief for many cancer and pain sufferers who are looking for an alternative to opiates, and narcotics.

Yet for a period of time, patients didn't know where to turn to fill their newly legal prescription. Times have changed, and there are now plenty of places for patients to pick up their medical marijuana.

At the White Pine Plaza, Pioneer Testing Services has a store front like any other shop at the mall, but step inside and you'll find a cannabis co-op for those who have state-issued medical marijuana cards.

"Nothing's hidden, there's nothing hidden here at all," said owner, David Ray.

A drastic difference from when the law was first passed. Patients would get their prescriptions filled quietly wherever they could. But for the more than 70,000 doctor approved cannabis patients today, there are options. With a state-issued medical marijuana card, a patient can simply shop at what's known as a collective like Pioneer Testing Services.

"It's just like going to the lumber yard or going to the pharmacy to get your medicine, you know, picking up what you need," said customer, Franz Werkman.

Collectives are run by other medical marijuana patients or caregivers. Each caregiver can grow cannabis plants for up to five patients, or six, if he himself is a patient like Pioneer owner, David Ray.

That's 72 plants! To keep his collective legal, Ray must sell his possible overages to other patients or caregivers.

"By law it's called a patient to patient transfer, or a patient to care giver transfer," said Ray. "If I think I may have overages, by law, I am allowed to get rid of my overages to another patient."

Collectives like Pioneer Testing Services say that they're so successful because their product is so safe. They spend a lot of time using microscopes like these to look for pesticides, mold and residue.

Yet some critics say collectives are under-regulated; the laws defining who can sell to whom are blurred. What defines a possible pot overage? And who regulates where and how those overages are sold? Regardless, collectives are in demand. So are organizations known as compassion clubs; a sort of farmer's market where care-givers can sell their overages.

There are now about five collectives and compassion clubs in the Upper Peninsula; in White Pine, Harvey, Negaunee, Iron Mountain, and Brimley. A small helping compared to the estimated fifty plus in Lansing, but the number is steadily growing.


News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: uppermichiganssource.com
Author: Noël McLaren
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Barrington Broadcasting Group, LLC
Website: Options for U.P. medical marijuana users
 
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