DETROIT – Marijuana companies are asking Michigan’s governor to classify marijuana an “essential item” and to allow doctors to certify medical marijuana patients over the phone during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Today we sent a letter to (Gov. Gretchen Whitmer) and her administration advocating that cannabis be deemed an essential item and that recommending physicians be permitted to see patients via telecommunications,”the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, a group of nearly 200 licensed marijuana businesses, posted on its website Wednesday, March 18. “Initial indications are that our letter is well received and we will continue to update you on our progress.”

The association argues that marijuana is useful to “reduce anxiety and stress” and offers sick patients an alternative to doctor appointments or the hospital.

“Our medical system needs to be available to prioritize the coronavirus pandemic and must not be bombarded by medical marijuana patients returning for traditional treatment,” the letter to Whitmer said.

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