New laws in Michigan that took effect Monday requires doctors who recommend medical marijuana to conduct a full patient examination, complete with an face-to-face evaluation, a review of the person's medical history, other prescription medications and a follow-up visit to ensure the drug is working.
The laws also require that the state's roughly 27,000 licensed caregivers who produce medical marijuana have criminal histories that are free of any felony or assault charges -- an enhancement of the prior standard which barred people who've committed drug felonies. Both measures were approved by a large majority of voters last November, ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV noted.
On the plus side for the state's 131,000 registered medical marijuana users, the new law also extends their license term from one year to two, ensuring those who follow the proper guidelines to procure their medicine will not be required to go through the process again so soon.
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in February that the buying and selling of marijuana in storefront locations is not permitted by the state's medical marijuana law, which was more narrowly designed to give patients access to the drug, not to create a boutique retail industry.
Despite the ruling, which gave local authorities the power to shut down dispensaries, many remain open. A bill pending Michigan lawmakers seeks to legalize the shops, but it's not clear if there's support for that in the Republican-dominated legislature.
This video is from ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV in Michigan, aired Monday, April 1, 2013.