The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation is standing firm on their stance that all cannabis centers that are not licensed by the State under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, will need to shut 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 given a license. Further, 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 shipments from provisioning centers (with limitation, certainly) and will additionally permit online ordering. So, where does that leave registered caregivers, who were anticipating to be able to stay relevant to their patients until 2021?
The old for registered caregivers was pretty easy. You were allowed to grow up to twelve plants for each patient. You could have five clients, apart from yourself. If the caregiver was also a patient, they could additionally cultivate twelve plants for personal use too. So, a caregiver could cultivate a total of seventy-two marihuana plants. Most caregivers created far more usable marihuana from those plants than they could use 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 running with municipal approval, but that had actually not received a State license were allowed to continue running and purchasing from registered caregivers. Those facilities were allowed to get caregiver overages for thirty days after receiving their State license for supply. That suggested considerable revenues for caregivers and also significant supply for dispensaries.
After September 15, 2018
The issues for registered caregivers only starts on September 15, 2018. All State licensed facilities that will stay open and operating can not buy any type of product from caregivers. State Licensed Provisioning Centers, but statute and administrative rules are strictly banned from acquiring or offering any product that is not produced by a State Licensed Grower or Processor that has actually had their item tested and certified by a State Licensed Safety Compliance Facility. Any State Licensed Provisioning Center that is found to have product available that is not from a State Licensed Cultivator or Processor is subject to State sanctions on their license, including short-term or permanent abrogation of the license. Given the risk, licensed centers are extremely unlikely to risk buying from a caregiver, given the potential effects.
Further, the unlicensed centers to whom caregivers have been continuing to offer to, even throughout the licensing procedure, will be closing down. Some might continue to run, but given the State’s position on facilities that do not adhere to their cease and desist letters being looked at very adversely in the licensing process, the market will be seriously diminished, if not eliminated. Because of this, caregivers will not have much choice for selling their excess, and also will certainly be restricted only to their existing patients.
New Administrative Rules
A hearing will be held on September 17, 2018 pertaining to the brand-new suggested final administrative rules for the regulation of medical marihuana facilities, which will become effective in November, when the emergency rules stop being effective. Those final recommended administrative rules enable home delivery by a provisioning center, and will additionally allow managed online buying. Those 2 things remove much of the role contemplated by caregivers under the new guidelines. Clients would certainly still need them to head to the provisioning center to get and deliver marijuana to patients that were too ill or that were handicapped and could not get to those licensed facilities to acquire their medical cannabis. With this change to the administrative rules, such clients will no longer need a caregiver. They will have the ability to place an order online and have the provisioning facility deliver it to them, basically eliminating the need of a caregiver.
For better or worse, the State is doing everything it can to eliminate caregivers under the new administrative system, even before the planned removal 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 asap, and they are establishing regulations to ensure that happens sooner rather than later. The caregiver model, while useful and necessary under the old Michigan Medical Marihuana Act structure, are now going the way of the Dodo. Like everything else, the Marihuana legislations are evolving, and some things that have prospered in the past, won’t make it to see the new legalized era.