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A Michigan appeals court ruled Wednesday that medical marijuana cannot be sold in private shops or dispensaries. The Associated Press calls the ruling a major decision.

The court ruled the Compassionate Apothecary, which allows its members to sell marijuana to each other, can be shut down immediately as a “public nuisance.” According to the ruling, Michigan’s 2008 medical marijuana law and the state public health code do not allow people to sell marijuana to one another, even if they have state-issued marijuana cards. Almost 100,000 people have such cards, the article notes.

Because of the ruling, local authorities can now shut down similar businesses. The AP reports it is not clear whether the state will do so. There are an estimated 200 to 300 such businesses in the state.

The Michigan medical marijuana law allows authorized people to possess up to 2.5 ounces of “usable” marijuana and keep up to 12 plants in a locked location. The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals on other aspects of the law, according to the article.

In July, the U.S. Justice Department announced that medical marijuana dispensaries and licensed growers located in states with medical marijuana laws are not immune from prosecution for violation of federal drug and money-laundering laws. Currently the medical use of marijuana is legal in 16 states and the District of Columbia.


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