Michigan cannabis businesses Canna Media Works, Canna Communication, and Greengate Health on September 12, launched a social media campaign to raise public awareness of medical cannabis use. The “Be Brave for Cannabis” campaign encourages medical marijuana users to reveal how cannabis treatment has benefited their lives in a video or comment posted on the campaign’s social media platforms.
“Right now, it’s important for patients to come out and share their stories and get the attention of those who make important decisions for our state,” Canna Media Works founder and campaign organizer Jamie Cooper told mgRetailer. “That’s why we created this campaign, to help draw out more stories and support.”
Several videos have been posted to the campaign’s Facebook page already and submissions are not limited to Michigan patients or advocates. Those interested in posting a video can email [email protected] with the subject line “Be Brave.”
“On [Tuesday], the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board was scheduled to meet to decide the fate of existing unregulated medical marijuana establishments while they review applications and distribute licensing,” Cooper explained further. “Closing existing facilities will put a lot of patients’ health at jeopardy, as they will lose accessibility to product options.”
On Wednesday, September 13, Michigan’s medical marijuana licensing board announced the decision to “encourage” Michigan’s 300 medical marijuana dispensaries to close by December 15, 2017, prior to implementation of new licensing and regulatory laws for medical marijuana sales.
The legislation, which was approved in 2016, allows dispensaries to apply for new license on December 15, but those not closed by the same date may face penalties while they wait for new licenses to be approved.
The December 15 date was a compromise for licensing board members that proposed medical dispensaries should be closed as soon as September 15, arguing that the dispensaries have technically been and are operating illegally in light of new regulations.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said in a statement, the December deadline “will allow existing operations to wind down while also giving adequate time for patients to establish connections to caregivers to help ensure continuity of access.”
Cannabis advocate Roberta King, co-owner of Canna Communication, told the Detroit Metro Times, “Even if the licenses are handed out on the 15th (the first day businesses can apply), you’re not gonna get a license on the 15th, and then on the 16th be open for business. So, this will still be harmful to patients who rely on cannabis for their health and well being and it will be harmful for businesses.”
“Michigan and many other states are in a time of transition with cannabis—as legislators and local government officials make decisions regarding cannabis regulation we need to make sure that the voices of people who use medical marijuana are heard,” King also said, in a press release promoting the “Be Brave for Cannabis” campaign.
(Video: Courtesy Amy Mellen/Be Brave for Cannabis Campaign/Facebook)