Previously this month, the Court of Appeals, in a split choice, established that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does NOT protect caregivers or patients that remain in possession of wet cannabis that is in the drying out process, from prosecution. The Courts judgment in the case of People v. Vanessa Mansour determined that because wet marijuana that was in the drying procedure was not usable cannabis, possession of wet marijuana 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 indicate the following: “Usable marihuana” means the dried leaves, flowers, plant resin, or extract of the marihuana plant, however does not consist of the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant. The Court found that because the act chose to use the word “dried” before the remaining components, that indicated that wet, undried marijuana was not a component of what the protections of the act were indicated to shield. Therefore, any person in the marijuana business of caregiving, that is growing under the MMMA for themselves or various other registered qualifying patients, is in violation of the legislation, if they possess wet cannabis, despite the purpose for which you possess it. Even you remain in the process of drying the marijuana, if you are raided and the cannabis is wet, you can be in trouble.
The ruling is quite troublesome for a variety of factors. Initially, any caregiver that is currently growing under the MMMA, will, at some point, have wet cannabis that is drying yet not usable. Therefore, any caregiver needs to understand that if you are in possession of wet, non-usable cannabis, and the authorities arrive, you can be detained and the Court of Appeals has actually figured out that you can be prosecuted as well as 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 matter develops concerns concerning the stability of the caregiving model, as well as additionally creates a problematic 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 showing that a part of your growing process triggers you to commit, at minimum, a misdemeanor, creates prospective troubles for the application review process. Better, if having wet marijuana cause for criminal apprehension and also prosecution, how does that effect farmers and also processors who are to be licensed under the MMFLA. Seemingly, the two statutes are not interlinked therefore, there should not be any concerns. Nevertheless, the MMFLA utilizes the exact 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 wouldn’t be a stretch to see the Judiciaries expand that MMMA meaning to the MMFLA. Such a ruling in the future could put a major kink in the medical cannabis industry under the MMFLA, most likely as an outcome of a possible chilling result. The judgment plainly triggers issues for registered caregivers, and also, potentially, for MMFLA cultivators, ought to the Court broaden this reading to cover cannabis growing as well as processing under the MMFLA. Essentially, because “wet” undried marijuana, according to the Court, does not satisfy the meaning of “usable” marijuana, if authorities were to come to the area and also find wet marijuana, you could be looking at potential criminal liability. If you are a caregiver and also are planning to proceed growing for your patients under the MMMA, as well as you have inquiries about the possible responsibility you have under this new judgment, do not wait to contact our office for a consultation.