Previously this month, the Court of Appeals, in a split decision, 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 out process, from prosecution. The Courts judgment in the case of People v. Vanessa Mansour figured out that because wet cannabis that was in the drying out procedure was not usable marijuana, possession of wet marijuana was not protected by the MMMA.
The MMMA specifies a number 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, yet does not include the seeds, stalks, as well as roots of the plant. The Court found that because the act chose to use the word “dried” before the remaining components, that implied that wet, undried cannabis was not a part of what the protections of the act were suggested to shield. For that reason, anyone in the cannabis business of caregiving, that is growing under the MMMA for themselves or various other registered qualifying patients, remains in violation of the legislation, if they have wet cannabis, regardless of the purpose for which you possess it. Also you remain in the procedure of drying out the cannabis, if you are raided and the marijuana is wet, you can be in trouble.
The ruling is fairly bothersome for a variety of reasons. Initially, any caregiver that is presently growing under the MMMA, will, at some time, have wet marijuana that is drying yet not usable. Consequently, any caregiver should understand that if you remain in possession of wet, non-usable cannabis, and the cops arrive, 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 as well as Section 8 of the MMMA will not protect you. Second, the matter produces questions about the practicality of the caregiving model, as well as also creates a troublesome situation for caregivers applying under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) for a growing or processing license.
Understanding that you are caregiving, and that the Courts are showing that a part of your growing procedure creates you to commit, at minimum, a misdemeanor, develops potential issues for the application review process. Further, if having wet cannabis cause for criminal arrest as well as prosecution, exactly how does that effect farmers and processors who are to be licensed under the MMFLA. Ostensibly, the two statutes are not interlinked therefore, there should not be any kind of problems. However, the MMFLA uses the very same “usable” marijuana definition as the MMMA. Particularly, subsection (ff) of M.C.L. § 333.27102 specifies usable marijuana 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 prolong that MMMA interpretation to the MMFLA. Such a ruling down the road could place a significant kink in the medical marijuana industry under the MMFLA, most likely as a result of a feasible chilling result. The judgment clearly triggers issues for registered caregivers, and, potentially, for MMFLA growers, needs to the Court expand this reading to cover marijuana growing and also processing under the MMFLA. Basically, due to the fact that “wet” undried cannabis, according to the Court, does not fulfill the meaning of “usable” marijuana, if authorities were to come to the area and also locate wet cannabis, you might be looking at possible criminal liability. If you are a caregiver and also are preparing to proceed growing for your patients under the MMMA, as well as you have inquiries about the possible obligation you have under this new judgment, don’t wait to call our office for a consultation.