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State extends medical marijuana deadline

Posted at 11:02 PM, Sep 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-10 23:02:49-04

The state is not going to meet its deadline for getting medical marijuana licenses approved.

The deadline was supposed to be Saturday.

Regulators say it's because they want to be thorough and make sure concerns are considered. Even though the deadline will be extended, the uncertainty is excruciating for people who rely on medical marijuana.

"I still need to manage my pain, so I need to be able to find a place to find the marijuana."

This woman who wants to stay anonymous is just one of the patients worried she'll be cut off from medical marijuana because the state is taking so long to process applications from businesses. She told me she counts on marijuana to help her deal with chronic pain and arthritis.

"I wouldn't be able to be in a public situation like this if I wasn't able to manage my pain," she said.

She has a medical marijuana card, but says it's still hard to find a legal place to buy.

"I literally went to four or five dispensaries and each time I went after they were closed," she said.

Thomas Mayes runs the Greenwave Dispensary in Lansing. It's still under a "temporary operations license" even though he applied at the city and state levels months ago. Even with the state extension he's worried the next deadline will come and go without his license being approved.

"I have about 20 employees here. So without being able to give them any definitive answers of are we going to be open on Saturday?" Mayes said.

And he says the waiting game is concerning for his workers and patients.

"If all the dispensaries, all the provisioning centers that have not been given a license have to shut down, that's going to extremely restrict the safe access for all 300,000 patients in Michigan," Mayes said.

The state says some businesses will be allowed to stay open past Saturday's deadline. It hasn't said which ones, and it hasn't announced the new deadline.

So far, no dispensaries in Lansing have been given state approval. One transportation business has been approved.

FOX 47 News will keep you updated.