Tag Archives: mmfla

Proposition One Passed! What’s Next? What’s Legal?

Proposition One Passed

On November 6, 2018, Michigan became the tenth state to legislate the leisure use of marihuana by its residents. The vote passed by a considerable margin and makes Michigan the only State in the Midwest that has actually allowed recreational use of marijuana. Now, we need to consider what happens next, and individuals need to be clear about what’s legal today, and what’s changing in the near future.

Please note: Despite The Fact That MICHIGAN HAS PASSED PROPOSAL ONE AND THE STATE WILL ALLOW POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA UNDER PARTICULAR SCENARIOS IT IS STILL ILLEGAL UNDER FEDERAL LAW.

You must consult with an attorney if you have any questions about how the conflict in between State and Federal law might affect you.

What’s Next?

Now that Proposition One has passed, what occurs now? Well, firstly, the recreational use of cannabis in its variety of usable types will now be allowed, however within limits and legal limitations. Before that can happen, however, the vote from November 6, 2018 will need to be certified by the State. The law does not go into effect until 10 days after the State has actually officially certified the election results. That certification should take place at the latest by November 26, 2018. Presuming that the State takes that long, that indicates that the earliest date wherein recreational use can start would be December 6, 2018.

After December 6, 2018, people can grow up to twelve marijuana plants and have up to 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis on their individual (or as much as an overall of 10 ounces, so long as anything over 2.5 ounces remains in protected and locked container inside a home) without worry of arrest or prosecution. Nevertheless, there will not be any recreational marijuana sellers from which to purchase retail items for some time. The State has up to twelve months after the vote is certified to make guidelines and an application procedure for persons and organisations to begin looking for recreational marihuana facilities licenses. For at least two years after the release of that application and the guidelines for licensing those centers, only individuals who have been authorized for a Medical Marihuana Facilities License under the MMFLA for both a State and City license will be enabled to look for an industrial recreational marihuana license. After 2 years, the State has the option of opening it up for non- MMFLA applicants, or, they could leave that restriction in place.

However, the State might put out an application and rules for making an application for licenses, however where those licensees can operate is up to which towns are going to opt-in to the recreational law. Similar to with the MMFLA, municipalities will need to “opt-in” to the law, and draft regional ordinances that determine where the shops can be located and how many of them each city will permit within its borders. The majority of the folks who have dealt with this, including myself, feel that this procedure is most likely to begin even prior to the real application and guidelines are out at the State level, as a number of the communities that have actually chosen in for medical marihuana are going to wish to be prepared for their correctly operating companies to be ready to use and become certified as soon as possible. Other communities that have not opted-in for Medical Marihuana have been waiting to see what was going to occur with Proposal One before they did something about it with regard to picking which direction to go moving forward.

So, the fundamental “What’s Next” plan looks like this:

Certify Election Results by November 26, 2018

Legal Recreational Usage and Ownership (within the borders set by statute) starts December 6, 2018

By December 6, 2019, State should release Regulations and Application for Recreational Commercial Licenses

Towns (Cities, Municipalities, Towns) Must Vote to Opt-In and pass Zoning and other Regulations

By December 6, 2021, State may act to allow non-MMFLA license holders to make an application for Rec

Licenses

What’s Legal Now?

Today, no recreational ownership is legalized in Michigan. As noted formerly, having any amount of marihuana remains unlawful under Federal law, and if you are puzzled or require explanation on the impact of the conflict in between Michigan’s position and the Federal Government’s stance, please contact us. Until 10 (10) days AFTER the vote is certified, the possesion of marihuana is still restricted to members of the general public in Michigan. Till that time, you can still be prosecuted and detained for possesion of marihuana. If you are a medical marihuana card holder, and your registration is up to date, nothing has changed for you. You might still have medical marihuana as allowed by the MMMA and the MMFLA. When December 6, 2018 shows up (or earlier, if the vote is certified before November 26, 2018), adults twenty-one (21) and older will be enabled to have on their individual up to 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana without fear of prosecution or arrest. Persons twenty-one years of age and older might also grow up to twelve (12) marijuana plants on residential or commercial property they own, so long as it is kept in an enclosed, locked center on the property that is not available to individuals not lawfully able to possess or access marihuana. If you have questions about those requirements, please contact our office for an assessment. After that, the business side of things will take some time to materialize, as it did after the 2016 passage of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. Anticipate the State to take that maximum amount of time permitted by law to promulgate policies and best the application for these facilities.

The other thing that is entirely legal now, and suggested, is preparing. If you wish to get into the recreational commercial marketplace, you need to start preparing now. Our office is really knowledgeable about the licensing procedure, and the path to success in the current and emerging cannabis marketplace. Give us a call so that we can start dealing with you on a strategy to offer you the very best possible opportunity to obtain an industrial license in the leisure marihuana market.

Wet Marijuana Still Prohibited Per MI COA

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.

Detroit Medical Cannabis Update

Detroit Medical Cannabis Update

The past week has been a busy one in the City of Detroit when it involves Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act concerns. The City application due date for presently operating centers was February 15. The Wayne County Circuit Court’s Chief Judge, Robert Colombo, Jr. provided a judgment regarding the voter initiatives and dispensary zoning requirements. Ultimately, the City issued a halt on applications and authorizations for brand-new medical marijuana provisioning centers within the City of Detroit.

Detroit MMFLA Deadline Comes and Goes: If you were a medical marijuana dispensary proprietor and you were on the City’s approved operating list, you were required to send your application to the State of Michigan Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs by February 15, 2018. That application likewise had to be filed with the City of Detroit for municipal attestation of operating approval by that date too. If you did not get your application in by February 15, 2018, whether or not you were on the accepted list, and also no matter whether you have been running with City authorization, your license with the City will not be renewed. Nor will your present municipal license to operate be renewed. Simply put, if you didn’t get your application in by February 15, 2018, you’re out of luck after the expiry of your existing license, at least, within the limits of the City of Detroit, for at a minimum of six months, until the moratorium is passed. Even then, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to apply, or be approved, once the moratorium is over. Even more reason to inquire about the laws as well as guidelines with a medical marijuana licensing attorney that comprehends the complexities of this ever-changing and also complicated area of legislation.

Moratorium on New Dispensaries:

Detroit has placed a 6 month moratorium on applications for Medical Cannabis dispensary licenses as of February 15. The City has mentioned that it will certainly not issue any new dispensary licenses throughout that six month duration. Even more significantly, for provisioning centers that were running under a municipal license or under a contractual arrangement with the City that they would not shut your center down, if you did not submit your State Application for a dispensary license, as well as send your application to the City of Detroit for an attestation by close of business on February 15, 2018, you will not be approved to run, as well as your currently issued and valid license to operate in the City, will not be renewed. Services that did not get their applications in by the due date will need to wait until at least after the moratorium is over before they can try to re-apply. There has been a lot of discussion that the City may not release anymore licenses after that moratorium is passed, which it would be within its rights to do. As a result, if you didn’t get your application in prior to the due date, you need to talk with a medical marijuana licensing attorney to review your options progressing.

Circuit Court Strikes Down Zoning Initiative:

The last news regards the voter initiatives that were passed in November which changed the zoning requirements for dispensaries. Citizens approved a reduction in the zoning restrictions regarding medical cannabis provisioning centers. The ordinance required that a provisioning center had to be at the very least 1000 feet away from a church or school. The initiatives proposed to lower the zoning requirements to ensure that provisioning centers only had to be less than 500 feet away from a church or school. The City of Detroit challenged the legality of the voter initiatives and filed a suit in the Wayne County Circuit Court. On Friday, Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Robert Colombo, Jr. determined that under the Home Rule statute, which governs how cities like Detroit are run and governed in the State of Michigan, zoning restrictions and requirements can not be transformed by voter initiative. Because of this, the initiatives were struck down as well as the original zoning limitations are again in place. While numerous citizen groups are vowing an appeal, it will certainly be some time before the Court of Appeals and also, ultimately, the Michigan Supreme Court can weigh in on the issue. The zoning ordinance, if it continues to be unchanged, will likely additionally influence brand-new types of Medical Marijuana Facilities authorized for licensing under the MMFLA.

Exactly how Does This Influence My Application?: If you are a provisioning center operating legally in Detroit right now, as well as you submitted your application to the State and the City by February 15, 2018, then, these adjustments will certainly have little to no effect on you. Anybody operating a facility in Detroit who did not apply by the target date, or who is running illegally and also is not on the Detroit approved centers’ listing, the decision can be devastating. You may not have the ability to operate your facility after completion of the year, or sooner, depending on the nature of your facility. If you are not on the authorized list, you will certainly not have the ability to get city approval to run, which is a condition precedent to acquiring your State license. Because of this, you will certainly not be able to acquire an operating license from the State, and your unregulated facility is most likely to come to be a target of State regulators. If you were operating legitimately, yet did not get your application in to the City or the State by February 15, 2018, you will certainly not be municipally authorized to proceed running past your current licensing date. There is additionally no guarantee that you will certainly be able to submit an application after the present 6 month moratorium, neither exists any factor to believe that the City will certainly approve any more applications for provisioning centers. If your desire is to proceed offering people with medication, you need to talk to a well-informed clinical cannabis licensing lawyer to assist you develop a plan on just how you can attempt to proceed in the market.

If you want to talk about getting a license under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act,

be it a provisioning centers, processing facility, grow operation, testing laboratory or secured transporter,

contact Fowler & Williams, PLC today for an examination.

Am I All set To Apply for a Medical Marihuana Facilities Grow License?

Thinking about beginning a Medical Marihuana Grow to make sure that you can provide marijuana to the medical marihuana market? Are you a Medical Marihuana Act licensed caregiver who wishes to take your product commercial on a bigger range? Thanks to the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, now you can do so legally, as long as you can successfully obtain a license from the State to do so. This might be a great opportunity with lots of new owners seeing tremendous degrees of profit as well as success in the market. Nonetheless, if you make this choice, you do need to make certain that you obtain a Michigan commercial grow license. Failing to do so will cause your venture being, probably, unlawful as well as bring about court activity that will paralyze your organisation before it starts.

Sadly, the Michigan commercial grow license application is a long, complicated and costly process. Ask a medical marijuana lawyer, as well as they will certainly inform you that you need to make certain that you are prepared. Let’s take a look at the steps you will certainly need to take, the team you need to build as well as the position that you could find yourself in.

Who Can Apply?

The first question to ask yourself is whether or not you are qualified to apply for a Medical Marihuana Facilities license. The good news is that anybody, an individual or a full company can apply for a license. Applications began in 2017, and there is currently no deadline to complete the required forms. Naturally, there are particular individuals, that, due to the fact that they can not satisfy the minimum financial requirements, or since they have a disqualifying criminal conviction in their background, are prevented from applying. However, assuming you don’t have a disqualifying criminal conviction, and you, or your group of financiers, satisfy the minimal monetary needs, there are two major actions to the MMFLA licensing application process. The primary step will certainly be finished whether you have a final location for your structure or not. Nevertheless, if you have already chosen a place prior to sending your State application, something that we extremely advise, you can complete both actions at the very same time.

Pre-Qualification

Pre-qualification is the first step, and it starts with an extensive background check. There are 2 sections– 401 as well as 404 of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (M.C.L. 333.27401 et seq.) to refer to when identifying who you need to legally divulge and whether they have a relevant business interest in your operation. This consists of people such as the spouse of the individual and also all corporate officers. This is just one of the reasons that it is worth seeking advice from an MMMA lawyer as it can be quite difficult to get all the information correct. The State will certainly intend to do a deep dive into the backgrounds of not only all of the “interested parties,” or members/owners of your cannabis company, but the State will certainly additionally explore the backgrounds of every one of those individual’s spouses also. Should any individual have a disqualifying criminal conviction in their past, or not be of “good moral character,” the State can deny the entire application. To put it simply, if there is one bad apple in the bunch, the State throws away the entire application. For that reason, it is very important to find out about the histories of the persons you have in your investment group, prior to applying for your Medical Marihuana Facilities License. There are a lot of things that a seasoned lawyer can do to assist you get ready for your application, and to guarantee that any type of prospective concerns with your application are recognized, divulged or gotten ready for before the application is sent. Nevertheless, this isn’t the only reason why an attorney will often be an important and required hire.

Take into consideration The Cost

Before your information can be assessed by an expert from the Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR), you need to pay a $6000 cost for your application. BMMR will refuse to move on with your application until this has been paid in full. In addition to being expensive, this fee is non-refundable so you want to see to it that there are no concerns with your application that can result in it being rejected. An MMFLA lawyer can guarantee that this is the case as well as help you navigate any kind of tricky problems. Even more, before you can obtain State authorization for operation, you will certainly also have to get a municipal or city approval. Each city or township will also need you to complete an application as well as you will need to pay an application fee there too. The application cost can vary depending on what the city wants to charge, nevertheless, they can not charge greater than $5,000.00. Most cities as well as townships are charging the maximum amount. In total, the application fees alone are most likely to be in excess of $10,000.00. That does not include the costs of ancillary services, such as accounting professionals, architects, marketing experts and also various other services needed for your application to be complete.

When you have collected as well as paid the application fees, all candidates as well as supplemental applicants will have their fingerprints taken. You could believe that if you already have had your finger prints taken by local police this action can be missed. However, BMMR will certainly not accept finger prints unless they are requested and collected by them via the licensing process. You will have to go to an approved location where your finger prints can be collected electronically as well as submitted for review by the State.

Facility License

This is the second step and bear in mind, if you have already chosen a location to grow cannabis, you can complete this step with the first. You have to be prepared to fulfill all the MMFLA rules. During this step, you will need to have a business plan. However, that plan must include certain things. You must have all of the parts called for by the State: facility plan, security plan, marketing plan, staffing plan, technology plan, waste disposal plan (if applicable), as well as a record keeping plan. There are specific minimum requirements set forth in the Administrative Rules that regulate MMFLA facilities, with which you must show your business is in compliance.

Your facility must be located in a city or township that permits MMFLA services to operate. The MMFLA has strict rules for people and services intending to grow in a municipality. If you intend to grow in a district, it must have an ordinance that authorizes marihuana facility operations. Colloquially, the municipality must have “opted-in” to the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (list of Michigan municipalities who have actually opted in to MMFLA), and also it must have passed a regulatory ordinance that sets for the policies and also standards for those centers to run within the city or township. The full standards can be located in 205, yet if you do have any kind of inquiries you need to call your municipal authority. Or, alternatively, get your lawyer to do this for you. As the application progresses, BMMR will certainly call candidates, offering information on any kind of other needs, including a pre-licensure inspection of your location or facility.

Authorized

Finally, you may acquire approval for your license. After you are informed of this, you will certainly need to pay for a regulatory assessment. Presently, the regulatory assessments for 2018 are as follows:

Safety Compliance Facility and Secured Transporters– $0.00.

Class A Grow License– $10,000.

Class B Grow License– $48,000.00.

Class C Grow License– $48,000.00.

Processor and Provisioning Center– $48,000.00.

Likely, the State will establish an across the board equivalent regulatory assessment for all licenses in 2019. Regulatory assessments are subject to change every year, so it is impossible to anticipate specifically what it will be. However, starting in 2019, regardless of which license you acquire, anticipate the assessment to be imposed and also for that assessment to be significant.

Verdict.

We hope this helps you choose whether you are ready to apply for a Michigan commercial grow license. Bear in mind, with a lawyer by your side, this process can be much simpler, and also you will gain experienced recommendations on how to proceed properly to make sure that your application is accepted. Even after you get authorization, legal guidance is suggested to ensure you stay on top of changes to the legislation and policies, and so that you can stay in compliance and keep your business open.

Here at Fowler & Williams, PLC, we concentrate on helping customers get MMFLA licenses and also making sure continuing compliance.

Should you choose to retain counsel to help you on your licensing journey, give us a phone call.

cannabis

October 31, 2018 Deadline for Caregivers and The Changing Marihuana Dynamic in Michigan

Caregivers and the DoDo

Cannabis and extinct birds would seemingly never ever turn up in any conversation. However, in talking with our marijuana clients, many of them are inquiring about the viability of the Caregiver model, especially as it was promoted years. What many in the industry have actually described as the “Caregiver Model” is going the way of the Do-Do bird on October 31, 2018. Halloween this year will certainly be the extinction event for the caregiver model as lots of have actually understood it for many years here in Michigan. While Caregivers will certainly continue to have the ability to grow and market to their registered patients, and for themselves, if they are additionally registered qualifying patients, the “gray market” where they were selling their excess, and making a fairly good revenue, is coming to an end.

What was the “Caregiver Model?”

Under the old “Caregiver Model,” a Registered Caregiver could grow up to seventy-two (72) marihuana plants, if they had 5 registered qualifying patients (the most you were permitted) and they were a registered patient as well. In some cases, numerous caregivers would gather at one place and grow their crops together, separated by paint lines on the flooring, or in more sophisticated circumstances, with each having a safeguarded locked room within the larger enclosed, secured facility. Several Caregivers might create even more useful marihuana than their patients could utilize. Those caregivers would certainly then sell their excess to dispensaries, many of which were running with municipal approval throughout the State. This “gray” industry led to considerable profits for lots of caregivers and dispensary owners. Under Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, nevertheless, caregivers were mosting likely to be phased out by 2021. Numerous Caregivers and industry insiders really felt that indicated the “Caregiver Model” can remain to create those very same earnings for another 2 or 2 and a half years. The State, nevertheless, had other plans.

The State’s Response

The State of Michigan, however, had other plans for the upstart cannabis market. First, the Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has taken a very scrutinizing approach to licensing applications where any one of the applicants were Caregivers. Many of those applications have actually been refuted over the past several months due to the fact that the Board has located that there were failings to reveal by a lot of these caregivers concerning just how much cash they made, exactly how they made it, and for failure to state that earnings on a State or Federal Tax Return. Nonetheless, in a September 2018 posting, LARA and the BMMR posted that all facilities that are running with municipal approval, but which have actually not received a State License, have to quit buying unlabeled and unauthorized medical marihuana on October 31, 2018. https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-79571_79784-479748–,00.html. Any type of marihuana acquired after the October 31, 2018 date by those centers need to be effectively classified and coded as required by the rules, and must originate from a properly State Licensed grower or processor. The caregivers might still grow, however they will have no methods through which to sell their product legitimately to a provisioning facility or processor. The old “Caregiver Model” will, effectively, come to an end.

Outcomes and Consequences

Some may suggest that there are still licensed or unlicensed centers that are mosting likely to proceed purchasing from caregivers, in spite of the State mandate. To make sure, there might be some that take that risk.

However, the State has demonstrated a commitment to enforcement and inspection. If the State were to establish that an applicant or a licensed facility was still taking caretaker excess and selling them, the State would likely take action. If an applicant were to be caught participating in this model, they would likely be rejected immediately by the Board. If a licensed center were to be caught breaking this mandate, the State would likely move forward with sanctions against that center’s license, including a suspension or cancellation of the license. Given just how much those licenses are worth, and the cost of obtaining any one of the allowed facility licensing types, a lot of owners will certainly be really reluctant to take chances with the possible loss of their license, or understanding that their license will not be renewed.

If you are a caregiver and don’t know what to do come October 31, 2018, are a person thinking of making an application for a mmfla license, or are an applicant who needs representation or has inquiries regarding exactly how these modifications will affect you, give us a call. We have the experience and knowledge in the cannabis and marihuana regulation areas to assist address your questions and give you the support you need.

After September 15, Can I Still be a Caregiver?

The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation is standing firm on their stance that all cannabis facilities that are not licensed by the State under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, will have to close down, and will receive a cease and desist letter at that time. While the facilities are not mandated to close down, the State Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has explained that any facility that continues to run after receipt of the cease and desist will very likely not be granted a license. Additionally, the State has set forth proposed Final Rules concerning Medical Marihuana Facilities licensing, which is going to allow or registered qualifying clients to get house deliveries from provisioning centers (with restriction, naturally) and will certainly likewise allow online purchasing. So, where does that leave registered caregivers, who were anticipating to be able to remain relevant to their clients until 2021?

Traditional Model

The old for registered caregivers was quite simple. You were enabled to cultivate up to twelve plants for each client. You could have 5 patients, aside from yourself. If the caregiver was also a patient, they could additionally cultivate twelve plants for individual usage too. So, a caregiver could cultivate a total amount of seventy-two marihuana plants. Many caregivers produced far more usable marihuana from those plants than they could make use of for patients and individual usage. The caregivers would then sell their excess product to medical marihuana dispensaries.

Under the emergency rules, marihuana dispensaries that were operating with municipal authorization, but that had actually not obtained a State license were permitted to continue operating and also purchasing from registered caregivers. Those facilities were allowed to acquire caregiver overages for thirty days after obtaining their State license for supply. That implied significant revenues for caregivers and substantial supply for dispensaries.

After September 15, 2018

The troubles for registered caregivers only begins on September 15, 2018. All State licensed centers that will continue to be open and operating can not buy any product from caregivers. State Licensed Provisioning Centers, but statute and administrative rules are strictly forbidden from acquiring or offering any item that is not created by a State Licensed Grower or Processor that has had their product tested and certified by a State Licensed Safety Compliance Facility. Any State Licensed Provisioning Center that is discovered to have product up for sale that is not from a State Licensed Cultivator or Processor is subject to State sanctions on their license, consisting of temporary or irreversible cancellation of the license. Given the danger, licensed facilities are very unlikely to risk purchasing from a caregiver, given the potential consequences.

Even more, the unlicensed facilities to whom caregivers have been continuing to offer to, even throughout the licensing procedure, will be closing down. Some might continue to operate, but given the State’s position on facilities that do not abide by their cease and desist letters being looked at very adversely in the licensing process, the market will certainly be drastically lessened, if not eliminated. Therefore, caregivers will not have much choice for selling their overages, as well as will certainly be restricted only to their current clients.

New Administrative Rules

A hearing will be held on September 17, 2018 pertaining to the new suggested final administrative rules for the regulation of medical marihuana facilities, which will become effective in November, when the emergency rules cease being effective. Those final recommended administrative rules allow for house delivery by a provisioning center, and will also allow regulated online ordering. Those 2 things take away much of the function contemplated by caregivers under the brand-new guidelines. Patients would certainly still need them to head to the provisioning center to get and deliver marijuana to patients that were too unwell or that were disabled and could not get to those licensed centers to acquire their medical marijuana. With this modification to the administrative rules, such patients will no longer require a caregiver. They will have the ability to place an order online and have the provisioning center deliver it to them, basically removing the necessity of a caregiver.

Final thought

For better or worse, the State is doing everything it can to get rid of caregivers under the brand-new administrative plan, even before the prepared elimination in 2021 contemplated by the mmfla. There are a great deal of reasons the State could be doing it, but that is of little comfort to caregivers. The bottom line is, the State is getting rid of the caregiver model, and they are moving that process along with celerity. The State is sending the message that they desire caregivers out of the marketplace as soon as possible, and they are developing regulations to make certain that occurs sooner rather than later. The caregiver model, while advantageous and needed under the old Michigan Medical Marihuana Act structure, are currently going the way of the Dodo. Like everything else, the Marihuana laws are evolving, and some things that have flourished in the past, won’t make it to see the brand-new legalized era.

Cannabis Prosecution Regulation Change

AG Sessions Removes Obama Administration Policy Relating To Prosecution of Federal Marijuana Regulations. On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a policy that guides local U.S. Attorneys to prosecute federal criminal offenses for cannabis law offenses, even in States where recreational and medicinal cannabis use has been permitted by the voters. The new policy directive is troublesome for a variety of reasons, and should cause worry for people that use medical marijuana in Michigan, or to those who dispense it.

Criminal Law Consequences. The policy revision might present severe difficulties to the Marijuana industry, that has been steadily growing within the past decade. Up until the policy change on Tuesday, a growing amount of States opposed Federal policies and prohibitions on marijuana usage for any reason, and have passed medical marijuana statutes, as we have here in Michigan, or they have permitted recreational usage of marijuana, as Colorado and California have done, as examples. However, despite the fact that the legislation in Michigan enables the usage of Medical Marijuana, those persons who are currently permitted to have, move and use marijuana legally under State law, are specifically violating federal law, and those individuals could be prosecuted in Federal Court for their narcotics infractions.

Previously, the Obama Administration had put out a policy statement that, in States that had passed marijuana usage laws, the Federal Government would look the other way, except if they found marijuana being sold on school grounds or in violation of other public policy directives. The regulation permitted the expansion of permitted use of cannabis, both medical cannabis and recreational use cannabis, including here in Michigan. Now, there are major worries that the expansion movement in other States will quit because of a concern that there may be a Federal crackdown on the marijuana industry. Given that there are central registries in States that have medical marijuana, and that in States that have approved recreational use, corporate documents denoting businesses that are participated in the marijuana industry, there are, rightfully many individuals who are afraid of arrest and, worst of all, Federal forfeiture of money and their products.

Impact on Michigan. The impact to Michigan, like other States, is not entirely ascertainable at this point. The concern circles around the problem of whether the US Attorneys for the Eastern and Western District have an interest in reallocating constrained resources to try medical cannabis establishments. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has a restricted budget and has to prioritize when and where to invest those resources. Recently, there has been a strong drive to target heroin, fentanyl, and human trafficking, all of which are significant problems, particularly in the Eastern District which covers Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, as well as others.

Those facts suggest that it is not likely that the US Attorney will refocus those resources to begin strongly prosecuting cannabis related facilities.

However, there is a reason that the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Application has a full-page disclaimer, suggesting that the candidate understands that the operation of their facility or use of their license to take part in any way in the marijuana business, is not authorized by Federal Law and that the United States Government could prosecute such an organization for illegal violations. Before the policy position revision released by AG Sessions last Tuesday, the chances of such prosecutions were minimized. Now, however, Michigan Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act candidates need to be familiar with the policy change, as they have a considerable quantity of capital at risk in not only getting the license, but in handling their business. Despite The Fact That Medical Cannabis Facilities are functioning in complete compliance with Michigan Law, the owners, workers and financiers could all be subject to Federal prosecution.

Conflict of Laws and the 10th Amendment. Numerous people might rightfully shake their head in confusion at these concerns. One view is that, Michigan voters have passed a law allowing the usage of marijuana under specific highly controlled circumstances. Why should the Federal Government be able to come in and tell the State of Michigan they can’t permit the usage of Medical Marijuana. The other view is that the Federal Government has said the use of marijuana is prohibited and so, the States shouldn’t have the ability to undermine those laws. Such is the age-old argument over Federalism and States’ Rights. The answer is, the States have their own system of laws that they are permitted to execute, independent and apart from those passed and enforced by the Federal Government. The dualist system of laws is an outgrowth of the 10th Amendment’s provisions, enabling the States to have their own set of laws, a result of what is generally called the “States’ Rights” movement. Nevertheless, where Federal Law and State Law are in direct conflict, Federal Law may be enforced, even if some States have contrasting laws, because of this dual system. Therefore, anyone applying for a facilities license under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act, needs to not only take the waiver seriously, but needs to get in touch with an attorney who can go over with you the potential criminal liability you may be subject to in Federal Court should you establish and run any of the facilities authorized under the MMFLA.

recreational marijuana

10 Things You Need To Know Before Opening A Marihuana Provisioning Center

You may be thinking of opening a marihuana provisioning center in Michigan. Now, after the passage of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act or the MMFLA (M.C.L. 333.27401 et seq.) that is possible, however only if you obtain municipal approval and a State issued operations license. “Provisioning Center” is the legally permissible term under Michigan’s Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation, for what was previously referred to informally as a “dispensary.” The existing policies no longer permit such companies to be referred to legally as “dispensaries” and the State requires that they be referred to as marihuana provisioning centers. A provisioning center is basically a organisation where qualifying patients under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act or the MMMA (M.C.L. 333.26421 et seq.) may come to acquire medical marihuana for medical usage. While a provisioning center can be a lucrative venture, there are a couple of things you to understand before you move forward.

Can You Transport Cannabis In A Private Car?

Currently, under Michigan law, the general guideline is that possession and transport of marihuana in a automobile is forbidden by law, and subjects you to criminal charges. Only registered qualifying patients and registered caregivers under the MMMA may transport marihuana in a automobile. Even then, they have to do so in strict compliance with the MMMA. Marijuana may only transported in a locked, closed container in the trunk of a vehicle, where it can not be accessed by the driver or individuals in the traveler compartment. You may also not have more than 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana, per registered qualifying patient. Caregivers may transport usable marihuana for as much as 5 patients (and themselves also if the caregiver is also a qualifying patient) or up to 12 plants per patient (again, including plants for the caregiver, if they are also a qualifying patient). Under the MMFLA, however, provisioning centers that are licensed by the State and their local municipality, must only accept marihuana into their facility that is brought by a MMFLA State Licensed Secured Transporter, or, if they have a grow or processing center co-located ( connected to or on the same property) and transportation of the marihuana will not happen on a public road, it can be moved as set forth by LARA, BMMR under the Administrative rules.

How Much Marijuana Can You Offer?

A licensed provisioning center under the MMFLA may not sell more than 2.5 ounces of marihuana each day to a registered qualifying patient. A provisioning center that is licensed may likewise sell to a registered primary caregiver, but not more than 2.5 ounces per qualifying patient attached to the caregiver’s license. If you are licensed by the State to run a provisioning center, you will need to use a point of sale system that has software that is complaint with the Statewide Monitoring Database, which utilizes a software program called METRC. The State permits using twenty-four (24) software programs that are METRC compliant. Every customer who enters a provisioning center, you will have to use a point of sale system that has software that is compliant. Every client who goes into a provisioning center has to have their card run through the Statewide Monitoring Database to guarantee that they have not already been given their maximum daily quantity of 2.5 ounces from another licensed provisioning center. A provisioning center should also update the qualifying patient’s profile on the Statewide Monitoring Database after sale, so that the Database will show how much medical marihuana was purchased by the patient at your provisioning center.

What License Do You Need?

You need a full license supplied by the state to run as a Michigan provisioning center. If you are growing marijuana, you will likewise need to make certain that you get a Michigan commercial grow license application. You may want to talk to an MMFLA attorney, such as Fowler & Williams, PLC, about this to make sure that you are fully licensed, or you will be shut down. Most importantly, DO NOT begin operating your provisioning center without a State license being issued to you under the MMFLA. While the process of getting a license is complicated and needs a considerable amount of time and money, the profitability of these provisioning centers far exceeds the cost of getting one. If you can get approved for a license and get through the application process to acquire a provisioning center license, you ought to do so before you start running.

Can You Get More Than One License?

Yes, you can apply and qualify for more than one license. This is useful for any business or person who wants to establish a provisioning center and a grow or processor at the very same time. According to the law, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from doing this. Further, you can acquire several provisioning center licenses so that you can operate several provisioning centers in different cities. The licenses do not connect to the person or the business that is using, allowing you to use it anywhere you desire. Rather, the licenses attach to the property you provide on your application for the business. For that reason, if you wish to open multiple provisioning centers, you will need to send numerous State applications. If you want to acquire various types of licenses (say a grow or processor license) in addition to a provisioning center, you can co-locate them at one facility, but you need to submit different applications for each license type, and must fulfill the minimum monetary and background requirements independently for each license type.

Just How Much Will A License Cost?

The cost for the license application to the State is $6,000.00 per application, regardless of license type applied for, including for a provisioning center. There are also municipal application fees, which can be as much as $5,000.00 per application. Each municipality is different, and they can charge various fees, and they can vary the costs depending on which type of license you apply for. Generally, however, they charge the maximum enabled, which is $5,000.00 per license application. Even more, after you receive a State license, there are regulatory assessments that will need to be paid every year, both after issuance and each year after when the license is renewed.

In 2018, the assessments vary.

Secured Transporters and Safety Compliance Facilities (testing labs) have no assessment ($ 0.00).

Class A Growers have a $10,000.00 regulatory assessment.

Class B and Class C Growers, Provisioning Centers and Processors have a $48,000.00 regulatory assessment.

The State has actually said that starting in 2019 there will be a standardized regulatory assessment that will apply to all license holders, regardless of the kind of license provided. For now, nevertheless, the assessments will remain as noted above. You will also find that there are other professional fees that you will have to pay in order to guarantee that your application is complete, and that your business plan, with all of its needed parts, is up to par with the State’s application requests. Those expenses can differ considerably, and are tough to anticipate.

Needless to say, the application and licensing process is an pricey venture, however in a market that is slated to do about $891,000,000.00 in annual sales this year, up from about $741,000,000.00 in 2017, the roi could be significant.

Should You Have A Legal representative?

While not mandatory, you should certainly ensure that you are acquiring guidance from an MMFLA attorney before you consider opening a Michigan provisioning center. It  is necessary that you get the very best possible legal advice and that you are following all the regulations and requirements. Only an lawyer experienced in managing cases under the MMMA and licensing work under the MMFLA, like Fowler & Williams, PLC, can ensure that you have all the tools and guidance that you need to give your application the best chance at success. Failure to make sure that your application is complete, and that it supplies support for your capability to presently comply and ensure future compliance with the Administrative rules, your application is far more likely to be rejected or denied, and your dream of opening a provisioning center brought to an unceremonious ending.

Just How Much Will This Business Cost?

You can anticipate the total start-up fees for this kind of service to be anywhere between 400 and 500K, at a minimum. While the State requires a minimum capitalization requirement of $300,000.00 (one quarter of which must be liquid funds), that will not suffice, realistically, to start business. You will need to potentially acquire land or property in an opted-in municipality. (Here is an up to date list of Michigan Municipalities currently opted-in to MMFLA) There will be mandatory fees, costs, and professional services that you need to get to guarantee that your application is precise and complete, and to ensure that you are presently in compliance with all laws and guidelines, as well as making sure future compliance. This consists of everything from licensing to a full group of employees and much more. It’s definitely not cheap, and you need to be prepared for a heavy investment. However, as noted above, the marketplace is big, and continuing to grow.

Can You Go Mobile?

No, you can not run a mobile provisioning center as it is currently illegal to operate one in the state of Michigan. Nevertheless, this might change, which’s why it  is essential to talk to a medical marihuana lawyer routinely, so that you are keeping up to date with changes to the law. Cannabis law is an evolving and changing field, and as a outcome, there might come a time where the MMFLA or the MMMA is amended to enable a mobile provisioning center.

What Are You Legally Able To Do?

As a provisioning center, your sole function is to supply safe medical marihuana to registered qualifying patients. You may only offer marihuana or marihuana infused items that were grown by a MMFLA licensed grower or processed by a MMFLA licensed processor and the items have been tested by a MMFLA licensed safety compliance facility with proper labeling and tracking. You may not sell these products prior to your obtaining a license, unless you were operating with city approval prior to February 15, 2018 and you have actually already sent an application to the State looking for a license.

Soon a modification in law will likely enable recreational marijuana sales. If the ballot initiative passes, for the first two years after the State passes recreational marijuana facility regulations and begins accepting licensing applications, only facilities licensed by the MMFLA to sell, grow, process, transport or test medical marihuana will be legally allowed to obtain recreational marihuana licenses for the same activity. Thus, acquiring a provisioning center license under the MMFLA, offers you the chance to go into the recreational market, where others will not.

What Are The Requirements?

In order to obtain a provisioning center license, you need to guarantee that you do not have a disqualifying criminal conviction, and that you meet the minimum capitalization requirements, which as noted earlier are $300,000.00 with 25% liquid capital. You will likewise have to obtain an appropriately zoned structure in a city or municipality that has “opted-in” to the MMFLA to allow such centers to run within their borders. Whether your own it or lease it does not matter, however you need to have the building. After that, you will need to produce a business plan which contains all of the necessary components from the state, consisting of a security plan, facility plan, marketing plan, staffing plan, technology plan, recordkeeping plan, waste disposal plan, and more, showing that you will adhere to the State’s policies now and in the future.

Conclusion

We hope this offers you with some of the details you need prior to opening a Michigan provisioning center. Needless to say, the process is expensive, intricate and time consuming, however the benefit and ROI can be substantial. In reality, obtaining a skilled MMFLA and MMMA attorney, like Fowler & Williams, PLC, can help streamline and simplify the application procedure, and take most of the work off your plate.

If you want information, or wish to come in and speak about making an application for a provisioning center license, we would love to have you come in for a consultation.