Useable Marihuana and Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act

In People v. Mansour, defendant’s home was searched by police and an indoor marijuana grow operation was discovered in her basement. The grow consisted of 126 plants and approximately 550 grams of marijuana buds on a drying rack. Mansour was charged with 1 count of delivery or manufacture of marijuana and 1 count of delivery or manufacture of 20 or more marijuana plants. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on her status as a registered medical marijuana patient, which allows her to be entitled to immunity under §4 of the MMMA.
This provision states that, “a qualifying patient…shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty….for the medical use of marijuana…provided that the qualifying patient possesses an amount of marijuana that does not exceed 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.” MCL 333.26424(a)(emphasis added).
Under MCL 333.26423(n), “usable marijuana” includes the dried leaves and flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof.” Defendant argued that the 550 grams of marijuana buds were “unusable” because they were not yet dry and therefore must be excluded when considering her claim of immunity under §4 of the MMMA.
Prosecution argued that the precedent of People v. Carruthers, 301 Mich App 590, 609; 837 NW2d 16 (2013), is controlling and that the court must look at the total amount of marijuana defendant was found in possession of, not just the amount of “usable” marijuana. In Carruthers, defendant was found to be possession of marijuana infused brownies which was not considered to be usable marijuana under the MMMA. The Court concluded that if a registered patient is in possession of any marijuana that is not considered usable marijuana then he or she possesses an amount that is in excess of the permitted amount of usable marijuana. Following this decision, the Legislature expanded the MMMA definition of usable marijuana, effective December 2016.
Defendant argued that People v. Manuel, 319 Mich App 291; 901 NW2d 118(2017), should be the controlling precedent of the Court which would limit the amount of marijuana defendant was found in possession of to only the usable marijuana. In Manual, the defendant was both a qualified patient and a primary caregiver which allowed him to be in possession of up to 15 ounces. The amount he was found to be in possession of exceeded 15 ounces, but defendant argued that the marijuana was in “various stages of drying” and therefore was unusable by definition. Id at 123. The Court held that due to the marijuana being unusable defendant was entitled to §4 immunity.
In this case the Court held to interpret §4 immunity as it did in Carruthers, utilizing a two prong test that asks, “whether a possessor of marijuana possesses an allowed quantity of usable marijuana” and further inquiries “whether that person possesses any quantity of marijuana that does not constitute usable marijuana under the term-of-art- definition of the MMMA.” Carruthers, 301 Mich App at 610. Based on this approach, a registered qualifying patient in possession of any amount of marijuana that does not qualify as usable marijuana is not entitled to immunity under §4 of the MMMA. Therefore, defendant is considered to be in possession of marijuana that is not usable so she is not entitled to §4 immunity.

Michigan’s laws on marijuana are constantly changing. Make sure you are not caught off guard and ensure your interests are represented by competent and experienced attorneys who actually know a thing or two about cannabis. Call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers today at 517-512-8364.

Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness

Marihuana micro licensing is a type of licensing regulation utilized in states where the recreational use of marihuana has been legalized. Similar to microbreweries for the production and sale of alcohol, marihuana microbusinesses are independently owned businesses that grow, process and sell their own marihuana. By applying for a micro license, an individual 21 years of age or older may be allowed to grow, process, and sell marihuana to others 21 or older, with certain limitations placed on the quantity the micro licensee may grow and to whom they may sell their product.

In the state of Michigan, a proposed initiative called the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) would allow an adult, 21 years of age or older, to apply for a license to operate a marihuana microbusiness. A microbusiness, as defined in MRTMA, allows an individual to operate a marihuana business cultivating not more than 150 plants, processing and packaging marihuana products made from plants they grew, and selling and transferring marihuana to individuals who are 21 years of age or older, but the licensee may not sell to or purchase from other marihuana establishments. Therefore, a licensee may not conduct business with another marihuana grower, processor, retailer, or any type of marihuana related business.

If you have been interested in getting into Michigan’s marihuana industry and are excited about a new sector of that industry, contact the lawyers who stay on the cutting edge.

Call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers today at 517-512-8364.