Michigan Supreme Court rules medical-marijuana dispensaries illegal

DETROIT (AP) - It is illegal to sell medical marijuana through private shops, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Friday in a decision one lawyer called "the end of the road" for the hotly debated issue.

In a 4-1 decision, the state's highest court affirmed an Appeals Court finding that Michigan's 2008 medical marijuana law does not allow people to sell pot to each other, even if they're among the tens of thousands who have state-issued marijuana cards.

"The Court of Appeals reached the correct conclusion that defendants are not entitled to operate a business that facilitates patient-to-patient sales of marijuana," the court's majority wrote.

Matthew Abel, a Detroit attorney who specializes in medical marijuana law, said now that the issue of dispensaries has been settled, it is time for the Michigan Legislature to weigh in.

"This is the end of the road. This is it," said Abel, whose firm is known as Cannabis Counsel PLC. "It will be a mess until the Legislature clarifies what kinds of business entities are allowed to exist."

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