Michigan Announces “Marihuana” Advisory Panel


On Friday, Governor Rick Snyder made public the first round of members appointed to the Marihuana Advisory Panel — a requirement of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act implemented in December of last year.

The 17-member Marihuana Advisory Panel will consist of experts from a wide variety of fields who will suggest best practices for actualizing the various facets of the Licensing Act to both the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

“These individuals come from a range of backgrounds and I am confident their combined experiences will allow them to positively contribute to this panel,” Gov. Snyder said.

Each appointed member of the panel will hold their seat for three years retroactive to the Act’s official start date, ending on Dec. 20, 2019.

The initial appointees include:

  • Local police representative: James Berlin, chief of the Roseville Police Department
  • County representative: Alan Helmkamp, director of commission affairs for Wayne County
  • Township representative: Catherine Kaufman, partner at Bauckham, Sparks, Thall, Seeber, & Kaufman, P.C.
  • Michigan Sheriffs’ Association representative: Kim Cole, sheriff of Mason County
  • Licensed physicians representative: Saqib Nakadar, medical director of Doc Greens Clinic
  • Medical marijuana patients representative: Paul Samways, planning director for Cannabis Accounting and national director of the Bridge West Network
  • Cities and villages representative: Suzanne Schulz, planning director and managing director of design, development, and community engagement for city of Grand Rapids

Next, Gov. Snyder will appoint representatives from the following fields:

  • Michigan State Police
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
  • Attorney General’s office
  • Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

After licensing begins, the remaining seats will be filled with experts in transportation, safety compliance, dispensaries, cultivation, and processing.

Image courtesy of Allie Beckett

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