LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2/AP) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is abolishing Michigan's medical marijuana licensing board and folding its functions into a newly created regulatory agency.
The Democrat issued an executive order Friday to create the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. She says her order will "eliminate inefficiencies that have made it difficult to meet the needs of Michigan's medical marijuana patients."
The board has been criticized as too slow to issue licenses to businesses following a law that instituted a tiered regulatory system. Whitmer's order will take effect April 30 unless it is rejected by the Republican-led Legislature.
"This executive order will eliminate inefficiencies that have made it difficult to meet the needs of Michigan's medical marijuana patients," said Whitmer. "All elements of this Agency have been designed to serve and better protect Michigan residents, and I'm eager to have a unified effort across state departments to make sure this process runs effectively and efficiently.
Whitmer says she received "productive input" from Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey on the issue.
The new agency also will oversee licensing in the recreational marijuana market after voters' approval last fall of recreational pot use.
"This executive order establishes a clear framework that will allow our officers to be fair and more consistent when it comes to marijuana enforcement," said Sherriff Clayton of Washtenaw County. "The new system allows for more predictability, which will ultimately enhance public safety and keep our communities safe."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.