Previously this month, the Court of Appeals, in a split decision, established that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does NOT protect caregivers or patients who remain in possession of wet cannabis that is in the drying process, from prosecution. The Judiciaries ruling in the case of People v. Vanessa Mansour established that due to the fact that wet cannabis that remained in the drying out procedure was not usable marijuana, possession of wet marijuana was not protected by the MMMA.
The MMMA specifies most of the terms of the act. The term usable marijuana is specifically defined in the MMMA. The act defines usable marijuana to indicate the following: “Usable marihuana” means the dried leaves, flowers, plant resin, or extract of the marihuana plant, however does not include the seeds, stalks, as well as roots of the plant. The Court found that due to the fact that the act chose to use the word “dried” before the remaining components, that meant that wet, undried cannabis was not a component of what the protections of the act were implied to shield. Consequently, anybody in the cannabis business of caregiving, that is growing under the MMMA for themselves or various other registered qualifying individuals, remains in infraction of the law, if they have wet cannabis, regardless of the objective for which you have it. Also you remain in the procedure of drying the cannabis, if you are raided and the cannabis is wet, you could be in trouble.
The ruling is quite troublesome for a number of factors. Initially, any caregiver that is presently growing under the MMMA, will, eventually, have wet cannabis that is drying out yet not usable. As a result, any caregiver has to comprehend that if you remain in possession of wet, non-usable cannabis, and the police show up, you can be detained and the Court of Appeals has actually figured out that you can be prosecuted and punished for possession with intent to deliver cannabis, which the immunity provisions of Section 4 and Section 8 of the MMMA will not protect you. Second, the matter produces inquiries concerning the practicality of the caregiving model, as well as likewise creates a bothersome circumstance for caregivers applying under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) for a growing or processing license.
Knowing that you are caregiving, which the Courts are suggesting that a part of your farming procedure creates you to commit, at minimum, a misdemeanor, develops prospective issues for the application review procedure. Even more, if having wet marijuana cause for criminal arrest and prosecution, just how does that impact growers and processors who are to be licensed under the MMFLA. Ostensibly, both statutes are not interlinked and so, there should not be any type of problems. Nonetheless, the MMFLA makes use of the exact same “usable” marijuana definition as the MMMA. Specifically, subsection (ff) of M.C.L. § 333.27102 specifies usable cannabis as follows: (ff) “Usable marihuana” means the dried leaves, flowers, plant resin, or extract of the marihuana plant, but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.
As a result, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see the Judiciaries expand that MMMA interpretation to the MMFLA. Such a ruling in the future might place a major crimp in the medical cannabis industry under the MMFLA, likely as a result of a feasible chilling result. The judgment clearly creates problems for registered caregivers, and also, potentially, for MMFLA growers, should the Court broaden this analysis to cover cannabis growing and also processing under the MMFLA. Essentially, because “wet” undried marijuana, according to the Court, does not satisfy the definition of “usable” marijuana, if authorities were to come to the area and also locate wet cannabis, you could be looking at possible criminal liability. If you are a caregiver and are preparing to proceed growing for your patients under the MMMA, and also you have questions about the prospective obligation you have under this brand-new ruling, don’t think twice to call our office for a consultation.