Update on Cannabis Legalization in Michigan with Mark Passerini OM of Medicine
Matthew: Hi, I’m Matthew Kind. Every Monday and Wednesday look for a fresh episode where I’ll take you behind the scenes and interview the leaders of the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at cannainsider . That’s cannainsider . Do you know that feeling when you sense opportunity, when you see something before most people and you just know it will be successful, then you’re ready. Ready for CannaInsider Consulting. Learn more at canninsider consulting. Now here’s your program. The landscape of cannabis legalization is very different from one state to the next. That is why I’ve brought Mark Passerini in from the front lines of Michigan to give.
Us a brief on what is happening there. Even if you don’t live or operate a business in Michigan it’s very important to understand what is happening in different states like Michigan as regulators and politician often steal both good and bad ideas from each other’s playbook. Mark owns a medical marijuana dispensary in Ann Arbor, Michigan called Om of Medicine. Mark, welcome to CannaInsider. Mark: Thanks for having me Matt. I’ve been listening to your show now for a few months and definitely honored to be a part of it. You’re doing the important work of getting that conversation out there for all to hear, and I for one appreciate what you do.
Matthew: Aw thank you. Now to give us a sense of geography where are you today? Mark: I am currently in my hometown of Chicago where it’s a frigid four degrees currently. These are the kind of days that really make you question your sanity. I split my time between here and Ann Arbor, Michigan where my dispensary the Om of Medicine is. Matthew: Okay so you spend, you split your time between one place that’s super cold and another place that’s super cold. Mark: Yes again, I’m not sure that my sanity is in tact. Matthew: Okay. Now can you give us a little background on yourself and how you came to.
Own a dispensary? Mark: Sure. So a little background on myself. I was born and raised in the city of Chicago, and since graduating from the University of Michigan I’ve enjoyed a 20 year career in sales and sales management. Before opening the Om of Medicine I was in another green sector, the renewable energy field. I worked for a company that manufactured high efficiency lighting, as well as a company based in Boulder, Colorado called Renewable Choice Energy which was recently named the EPA’s Green Partner of the Year. Matthew: Nice.
Mark: Yeah. Back in 2010 I got a call from a good friend of mine in Michigan who had a business plan for a medical cannabis dispensary in Lansing, the state capital. And he needed some startup funds to open. So my best friend Keith and I were eager to help out, having been cannabis advocates all of our adult lives as well as having both witnessed firsthand the medical efficacy of the plant. I had personally had slipped discs in my back back in early O’s and shortly after that Keith was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. On top of that my mother is a cancer survivor, but she also suffers from horrible neuropathy caused by her diabetes, and she’s on a ridiculous cocktail of pharmaceuticals. Some prescribed just to offset the side effects.
Of others. So really it just made perfect sense to embark on this journey for a whole plethora of reasons. Shortly after we opened in Lansing, we decided that being silent investors and really having no operational responsibilities wasn’t very fulfilling, and we decided to open up our own collective in Ann Arbor, Michigan. So I’m not sure how much you or your listeners know about Ann Arbor, but it’s always had very sensible cannabis policies. They were one of the very first cities in the country to decriminalize possession back in the early 70s when it became a $5 fine.
Matthew: Wow. Mark: Yeah that was, I think it was ’71, ’72 and then they adjusted it for inflation. Today it’s a $25 fine. Keith and I actually learned that fact back in the late 1900s when we were stopped by an Ann Arbor police officer after just having partaken and really our whole lives could have drastically changed if that particular law wasn’t in place. So Ann Arbor was also, they were actually four years ahead of the state in passing its own medical cannabis laws in 2004 with a whopping 74% of the vote in the city. Matthew: Wow.
How To Get a Michigan Medical Marijuana License Card
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