Although House Bills 4209/4210/4827 are not officially listed on the notice, Committee Chair Senator Rick Jones will once again take controlled testimony from select groups regarding the proposed changes to the Michigan medical marijuana laws contained in those bills.
Scheduled to give presentations during that meeting are Robin Schneider and Doug Mains on behalf of the National Patients’ Rights Association, a Michigan organization mostly composed of dispensary owners; the Michigan Cannabis Development Association, a group of dispensary owners who used to be in the NPRA; Helix TCS, an outstate security firm “run by former decorated military and law enforcement personnel”; and the Evergreen Management Group, led by former candidate for US Congress, George Brikho.
In the last meeting of the Senate Judiciary, several corporations gave presentations on various systems designed to comply with proposed state regulations requiring a seed-to-sale tracking system and potential takeover of the state’s patient registry database. BioTrack THC from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, offered two programs to the Senators: a system that monitors growing locations themselves (1,400 units in place across the USA) and a system for seed-to-sale tracking of commercial cannabis production (in place in N.Y., Illinois, Washington and New Mexico).
An out-of-state entity, Beacon Information, claimed their product can “track all the transactions and all the participants in the medical marijuana system” in Michigan. When questioned by Sen. Jones the representative admitted that their CDMP program is not currently operating in any other states.
A second company- and the only one that hails from Michigan- was Blue Health and Wellness, LLC. Formed by a well-connected group of Oakland County Republican operatives, the business was recognized as incorporated by the state on October 2, just two weeks before the hearing. Normally one would think it impossible for a start-up company to get a special presentation before the most powerful Senate Committee in the state, but spokesman David Baetens told the audience that it was arranged by another Oakland County Republican, Sen. Kowall.
The Blue Health presentation was a read-the-screen PowerPoint slideshow. They admit that their software program is not complete and that it is an adaptation of a program currently being used to track evidence and forfeited goods by some police agencies. The address listed in the state registry for Blue Health is a Clarkston home on Deer Lake worth a half-million dollars featuring five baths and three bathrooms.
After the three corporate entities gave their presentations, Sen. Jones told them that the decision to use or not use their services was not the responsibility of any Senator, especially those in this Committee. That selection would be made by an as-yet unnamed marijuana board, whose creation depends upon the passage of the three bills who Sen. Jones was not taking direct testimony on. But thanks for coming down and talking to us anyway, fellas.
Senator Jones refused to accept testimony from the public on the presentations or on the three-bill package, promising that the people would have their time “at a later date.” He failed to reveal that date. A hallmark of Jones’ actions during previous testimony on medical marijuana issues is to ignore the input from citizenry in favor of extended pandering to law enforcement representatives. The next, as-yet unannounced, meeting of the Senate Judiciary will feature testimony from police and prosecutors. Jones is that predictable.
Will there be time for testimony from The People before Jones does what sneaky Representative Kesto did in his House committee and call for a vote on these three bills BEFORE hearing from the citizens? Nobody knows- except Sen. Jones.
Written testimony on the three-bill package can be sent to the Committee Clerk directly to:
NOTICE OF SCHEDULED MEETING
DATE: Tuesday, October 27, 2015
TIME: 3:00 p.m.
PLACE: Room 110, Farnum Building, 125 W. Allegan Street, Lansing, MI 48933
PHONE: Corey Woodby (517) 373-1721
Presentations on the Medical Marijuana Industry by:
Robin Schneider and Doug Mains on behalf of the National Patients’ Rights Association
Michigan Cannabis Development Association
Evergreen Management Group
SB 20 Sen. Shirkey Criminal procedure; other; default standard for mens rea in criminal statutes; establish.
SB 471 Sen. Robertson Courts; district court; sixty-seventh district; clarify fourth division jurisdiction.
HB 4713 Rep. McBroom Criminal procedure; other; default standard for mens rea in criminal statutes; establish.
And any other business properly before the committee.
In the spirit of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals with a disability should feel free to contact the Office of the Secretary of the Senate by phone [(517) 373-2400] or by TDD [(517) 373-0543] if requesting special services to effectively participate in the meeting.
Corey Woodby Senate Majority Committee Clerk
Source: The Compassion Chronicles