Michigan Senate approves medical marijuana tax, regulations

By DAVID EGGERT, Associated Press

Marijuana plant (Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan would tax and regulate medical marijuana in a tiered licensing system under legislation that has cleared a big hurdle in the Legislature.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 25-12 for a bill Thursday to require a state operating license to grow, process, sell, transport or test marijuana used for medical purposes. Another bill clarifies that allowable marijuana includes non-smokable forms such as oils, food items and pills.

"Provisioning centers" that sell marijuana to patients or their caregivers would pay a 3 percent tax on their gross retail income.

Advocates say the measures are necessary due to confusion over Michigan's 2008 voter-approved initiative that legalized medical marijuana.

The Senate voted nearly a year after the legislation won House approval. The House could take final votes as early as next week.

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