Previously this month, the Court of Appeals, in a split choice, identified that the Michigan Medical marijuana Act does NOT protect caregivers or patients who are in possession of wet marijuana that is in the drying process, from prosecution. The Courts ruling in the case of People v. Vanessa Mansour determined that because wet marijuana that remained in the drying out procedure was not usable cannabis, possession of wet cannabis 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 imply the following: “Usable marihuana” means the dried leaves, flowers, plant resin, or extract of the marihuana plant, but does not consist of the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant. The Court found that since the act chose to use the word “dried” before the remaining components, that implied that wet, undried cannabis was not a component of what the protections of the act were meant to shield. Consequently, anybody in the cannabis business of caregiving, who is growing under the MMMA for themselves or other registered qualifying individuals, is in violation of the legislation, if they have wet cannabis, despite the objective for which you have it. Even you remain in the process of drying out the cannabis, if you are raided and the cannabis is wet, you might be in trouble.
The ruling is rather bothersome for a variety of factors. Initially, any caregiver that is currently growing under the MMMA, will, at some time, have wet marijuana that is drying however not usable. As a result, any caregiver needs to comprehend that if you remain in possession of wet, non-usable cannabis, and the cops show up, you can be jailed as well as the Court of Appeals has actually figured out that you can be prosecuted as well as punished for possession with intent to deliver cannabis, and that the immunity provisions of Section 4 and also Section 8 of the MMMA will certainly not protect you. Second, the issue produces concerns concerning the practicality of the caregiving model, and additionally develops a bothersome circumstance 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 potential troubles for the application review process. Better, if having wet cannabis cause for criminal arrest as well as prosecution, how does that impact farmers and also processors who are to be licensed under the MMFLA. Ostensibly, both statutes are not interlinked and so, there shouldn’t be any kind of concerns. Nevertheless, the MMFLA uses the very same “usable” marijuana definition as the MMMA. Especially, 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 would not be a stretch to see the Judiciaries expand that MMMA definition to the MMFLA. Such a ruling down the road can put a major kink in the medical cannabis industry under the MMFLA, likely as an outcome of a feasible chilling impact. The judgment clearly triggers concerns for registered caregivers, and also, potentially, for MMFLA cultivators, should the Court expand this analysis to cover cannabis growing and also processing under the MMFLA. Essentially, due to the fact that “wet” undried cannabis, according to the Court, does not fulfill the definition of “usable” cannabis, if authorities were to come to the location and also discover wet cannabis, you could be looking at prospective criminal liability. If you are a caregiver and are preparing to proceed growing for your patients under the MMMA, and also you have inquiries concerning the prospective responsibility you have under this new judgment, don’t wait to contact our office for a consultation.