Earlier this month, the Court of Appeals, in a split choice, identified that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does NOT protect caregivers or patients that remain in possession of wet marijuana that remains in the drying out process, from prosecution. The Judiciaries ruling in the case of People v. Vanessa Mansour figured out that since wet marijuana that remained in the drying process 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 suggest the following: “Usable marihuana” means the dried leaves, flowers, plant resin, or extract of the marihuana plant, however does not include the seeds, stalks, and also roots of the plant. The Court found that since the act chose to use the word “dried” before the remaining components, that suggested that wet, undried cannabis was not a component 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 individuals, remains in violation of the legislation, if they possess wet marijuana, despite the function for which you have it. Even you are in the process of drying out the marijuana, if you are raided and the marijuana is wet, you can be in trouble.
The ruling is quite problematic for a variety of factors. Initially, any caregiver that is currently growing under the MMMA, will, at some time, have wet cannabis that is drying yet not usable. As a result, any caregiver must recognize that if you remain in possession of wet, non-usable marijuana, and the police arrive, you can be arrested and the Court of Appeals has actually figured out that you can be prosecuted and also 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 not protect you. Second, the matter develops inquiries regarding the viability of the caregiving model, as well as additionally creates a problematic scenario 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 suggesting that a part of your cultivation process causes you to commit, at minimum, a misdemeanor, creates possible troubles for the application review procedure. Better, if having wet marijuana cause for criminal apprehension as well as prosecution, just how does that influence growers as well as processors that are to be licensed under the MMFLA. Seemingly, both statutes are not interlinked therefore, there shouldn’t be any type of concerns. Nonetheless, the MMFLA uses the 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.
For that reason, it would not be a stretch to see the Judiciaries prolong 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 possible chilling result. The judgment clearly causes concerns for registered caregivers, and also, possibly, for MMFLA growers, ought to the Court increase this analysis to cover cannabis growing as well as processing under the MMFLA. Essentially, since “wet” undried cannabis, according to the Court, does not meet the definition of “usable” cannabis, if authorities were to come to the location and also discover wet cannabis, you may be looking at possible criminal liability. If you are a caregiver and are preparing to continue growing for your patients under the MMMA, and you have concerns regarding the potential liability you have under this brand-new judgment, don’t wait to contact our office for a consultation.