Previously this month, the Court of Appeals, in a split decision, determined that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does NOT protect caregivers or patients who remain in possession of wet cannabis that remains in the drying out procedure, from prosecution. The Judiciaries judgment in the case of People v. Vanessa Mansour established that since wet marijuana that was in the drying out procedure was not usable cannabis, possession of wet cannabis was not protected by the MMMA.
The MMMA defines a number of the terms of the act. The term usable marijuana is specifically defined in the MMMA. The act defines usable marijuana to mean the following: “Usable marihuana” means the dried leaves, flowers, plant resin, or extract of the marihuana plant, yet does not include the seeds, stalks, and also roots of the plant. The Court found that because the act chose to use the word “dried” before the remaining components, that suggested that wet, undried cannabis was not a component of what the protections of the act were meant to shield. As a result, any person in the marijuana business of caregiving, who is growing under the MMMA for themselves or various other registered qualifying individuals, remains in offense of the law, if they possess wet marijuana, regardless of the purpose for which you possess it. Also you remain in the procedure of drying the cannabis, if you are raided and the marijuana is wet, you might be in trouble.
The ruling is quite bothersome for a variety of factors. Initially, any caregiver that is presently growing under the MMMA, will, at some point, have wet cannabis that is drying however not usable. Consequently, any caregiver needs to comprehend that if you remain in possession of wet, non-usable cannabis, and the cops arrive, you can be apprehended and the Court of Appeals has actually established that you can be prosecuted and also punished for possession with intent to deliver marijuana, and that the immunity provisions of Section 4 as well as Section 8 of the MMMA will certainly not protect you. Second, the issue creates inquiries concerning the feasibility of the caregiving model, and additionally produces a problematic scenario for caregivers applying under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) for a growing or processing license.
Understanding that you are caregiving, which the Courts are indicating that a component of your growing procedure triggers you to commit, at minimum, a misdemeanor, develops prospective problems for the application review procedure. Additionally, if having wet marijuana cause for criminal apprehension and also prosecution, just how does that influence cultivators as well as processors that are to be licensed under the MMFLA. Seemingly, the two laws are not interlinked therefore, there should not be any problems. Nevertheless, the MMFLA utilizes the very same “usable” marijuana definition as the MMMA. Specifically, subsection (ff) of M.C.L. § 333.27102 defines 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.
Consequently, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see the Judiciaries prolong that MMMA meaning to the MMFLA. Such a ruling down the road can place a major kink in the medical cannabis industry under the MMFLA, likely as a result of a feasible chilling result. The ruling plainly triggers concerns for registered caregivers, and, possibly, for MMFLA farmers, must the Court expand this reading to cover cannabis growing as well as processing under the MMFLA. Basically, because “wet” undried marijuana, according to the Court, does not meet the meaning of “usable” marijuana, if authorities were to come to the location and discover wet marijuana, you might be looking at possible criminal liability. If you are a caregiver as well as are preparing to proceed growing for your patients under the MMMA, and you have questions regarding the possible obligation you have under this brand-new judgment, don’t think twice to contact our office for a consultation.