News, Updates and analysis regarding family law and Child Protective services in Michigan

Medical Marijuana and Alimony / Spousal Support

In Beauchamp v. Beauchamp, the trial court awarded defendant his medical marijuana grow operation as part of the marital assets and awarded plaintiff spousal support based on consideration of the income defendant received for the sale of medical marijuana to his qualified patients. The Court of Appeals affirmed on Defendant’s . For most of the parties’ marriage, defendant’s primary occupation was operating his drywall business. After battling lung cancer in 2014, defendant was unable to work full time doing drywall and by the summer of that year his primary focus was on his marijuana grow operation. He became a registered caregiver for five qualified patients. Plaintiff suspected he was selling to others outside of his five patients. Plaintiff subsequently filed for divorce June 2016.

The trial court considered the grow operation to be part of the marital assets because defendant began the operation during the marriage and used funds from the marriage to start the project. When determining the amount of spousal support to be awarded, the defendant’s income was considered to be a combination of his average income derived from the drywall business and from the medical marijuana grow respectively. Between 2015 and 2017 the court concluded that defendant made $15,300 per year from his drywall business and $120,000 a year from the grow operation. Defendant argued that legally he is unable to profit from the growth and sale of marijuana under the MMMA. The Court of Appeals denied this argument considering the unique circumstances of the case and the trial court’s attempt to balance the entirety of the parties’ incomes in a just and reasonable manner. Additionally, defendant admitted to receiving funds in excess of what was necessary to make up for the costs he accumulated in maintaining his grow operation and he would keep the surplus for his personal use.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court was correct in considering the marijuana grow operation to be part of the marital assets due to the income it brought to the family while plaintiff and defendant were still married, and that the $1,900 per month spousal support payment does not fall within the range of unreasonableness given the calculations of defendant’s income.

Understanding how the MMMA intersects with and impacts the appropriation of assets in a divorce can be complicated. Call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers to ensure your rights are protected.

Is Cannabidiol (CBD) Marijuana?

Is CBD marijuana?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the cannabinoids found in marijuana.  Over the last few years CBD has dramatically increased in popularity to treat a wide variety of ailments.  CBD has been attributed to helping those that suffer from chronic pain, epilepsy and several other disorders and diseases.   CBD is often used in place of the more well known THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) because CBD doesn’t possess the psychoactive effects commonly associated with THC.  Because CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive effects of THC and because it is often associated with hemp, CBD products have recently become readily available at health food stores, gas stations, pet stores, grocers and through reputable online shops such as amazon.

The acceptance that CBD products have had in the mainstream market has been noticed by Michigan’s Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and just last week they issued an advisory bulletin stating in part that “the possession, purchase, or sale of marihuana or any marihuana product – including CBD – must be done in compliance with the MMMA and MMFLA.”  LARA came to this decision by analyzing the current definition of marijuana contained in the public health code (MCL 333.7106).  Marijuana is currently defined as:

all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., growing or not; the seeds of that plant; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin. Marihuana does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, except the resin extracted from those stalks, fiber, oil, or cake, or any sterilized seed of the plant that is incapable of germination. Marihuana does not include industrial hemp grown or cultivated, or both, for research purposes under the industrial hemp research act.

This definition clearly does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from stalks, oil or cake made from seeds of the plant, and any other compound made from the mature stalks.  Also excluded by definition is industrial hemp grown or cultivated under the industrial hemp research act. (IHRA) To determine that CBD is and always is marijuana, LARA had to first determine that cannabinoids are not found in the seeds or stalks of the marijuana plant as substance derived from seed or stalk of the marijuana plant could be excluded under the definition of marijuana in MCL 333.7106.   LARA then looked to the industrial hemp research act and determined that IHRA does not allow for the sale or transfer of hemp.  So, according to LARA all CBD tranactions must be ddone under either the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMA) or the Marihuana Facility Licensing Act (MMFLA).

If you have any questions regarding CBD and its legality please call the Michigan Cannabis Attorneys at The Covert Law Firm.  517-512-8364.

 

CBD

CBD

 

Cannabis Attorney Joshua Covert debates Missaukee County Sheriff Jim Bosscher On Legalization

On March 23, 2018 The Cadillac News published an editorial regarding the legalization of marijuana in Michigan.  The editorial featured an anti legalization piece written by Missaukee County Sheriff Jim Bosscher and a pro legalization piece written by Michigan Cannabis Lawyer Joshua Covert.  The editorial written by Mr. Bosscher contained mostly outlandish claims backed up by  references to:  “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Volume 5″,  which was complied in October 2017, by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.  This report according to a forbes.com article  contains “indictments masquerading as objective assessments”  and is referred to as “dishonest”.  Further,  the report seems to ignore its own footnotes when reaching conclusions  and the reports executive summary stated that “the information here should be interpreted with caution”.  John Hudak a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Brooking Institute called the report “garbage” in a Denver post article.

Mr. Coverts editorial contradicted many of Mr. Bosscher’s claims and Mr. Covert cited to various reputable studies to do so such as the 2018 study published by the American Medical Association which concluded that those states with legal access to marijuana have lower opiate prescription rates.  Mr. Covert also mentioned a poll conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health which showed that teen marijuana use is down since legalization began,  the study also mentioned that Colorado has  lower teen use then the national average.

It is good to see that the debate about legalization is heating up and that mainstream media is covering the topic.  It is easy to see though that there is really no debate needed as voters overwhelmingly support legalization and the opposition has to rely on a single biased study that has been called “garbage” by the Brookings Institue.  Expect this topic to gain more traction in the media as it will be up to voters to decide in November of 2018 as the CRMLA (Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol) ballot proposal is headed to the ballot.

Marijuana Versus the Opiod Epidemic

Illinois Senate Bill 336 was passed by a staggering 44-6 vote. The measure is intended to allow flexibility in obtaining a medical marihuana in the state of Illinois by recognizing the use of cannabis as medicine in the fight against the opiod crisis.

As amended, the bill allows persons with an active prescription for opiods to have legal access to medical marihuana as an alternative medicinal option for palliative relief. Persons who qualify will also be able to apply for a medical marihuana card. The medical marijuana program in Illinois is rather restrictive in terms of qualified applicants. Currently, Illinois has issued approximately 30,000 cards to its residents.

The expansion and formal recognition of the use of marijuana as medicine in Illinois something to take note of as many states continue to progress in their efforts to regulate medical marihuana. The bill heads to the House for approval.

Illinois is not the only state seeking to expand the availability of medical marihuana. Michigan has introduced a list of 22 proposed medical conditions to be added and recognized under the Medical Marihuana Act as qualifying conditions. The list includes anxiety, depression, diabetes, panic attacks, and a myriad of other medical conditions for approval consideration. The Review Panel is scheduled to make their recommendations to the Department Director at a public meeting on May 4, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan.

For those who are committed to staying up-to-date on Michigan’s marijuana laws, call (517) 512-8364 to contact the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers.

 

Joshua Covert of The Michigan Cannabis Lawyers is Interviewed in the Lansing City Pulse

Marijuana attorney Joshua Covert was recently interviewed by the Lansing City Pulse in the annual 4/20 edition.  The article discusses his work as a Cannabis Lawyer and how he fights the drug war.  Read the article here.

Attorney Joshua Covert Speaks at UNRIG THE SYSTEM Event in Lansing

Attorney Joshua Covert

Attorney Joshua Covert speaks at Unrig The System at 4-15-18 in Lansing Michigan.

On Sunday April 15th attorney Joshua Covert spoke at an event in Lansing geared to sharing information about local activism and grassroots efforts to empower citizens to play a larger role in the political process. The event was put on by Unrig The System a nationwide organization with a chapter in Michigan (visit their facebook page here).  Mr. Covert spoke as an attorney and activist involved in marijuana policy reform.  Mr. Covert spoke about his work as a board member of milegalize, a 2016 voter initiative campaign, and how important the voter initiative process is for citizens.

The event was originally scheduled to be held on the State Capitol grounds but because of weather was relocated to the Midtown Brewing Company.  Mr. Covert was pleased to hear the other speakers at the event but was excited to see that longtime friend and fellow cannabis activist Steven Lull (The Green Union) was also on the schedule.  It is important for Mr. Covert to speak to groups about political involvement and activism because of his belief that in our current form of government our legislators often don’t listen to the will of their constituents.  “It is obvious that our government in Lansing hasn’t been listening to the citizens of Michigan in regards to marijuana or cannabis policy reform,  legalization polls extremely high and most metropolitan areas have already legalized marijuana at the local level yet legalization is being done by the people via the voter initiative process and not by our elected legislators.”

 

Ann Arbor’s Annual Hash Bash

John Sinclair paved the way for what is now known as Hash Bash.

This event that takes place each year in Ann Arbor, Michigan to celebrate and support the movement toward the legalization of marijuana in our great state. Ann Arbors Hash Bash is a great way to stick it to the man and celebrate cannabis.

John Sinclair was imprisoned for over two years after attempting to furnish a police officer with a marijuana joint. After his conviction was overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court, a 21-day period existed in Michigan wherein marijuana was technically legal, and the event now known as Hash Bash was born.

At a time when Michigan is in the midst of implementing a regulatory system to facilitate the cultivation and acquisition of medical marihuana, and with greater than ever support for the legalization of recreational use and possession of marijuana by Michigan citizens, this year’s Hash Bash may be the last of its kind, as activists and those alike have for so long gathered to advocate and educate for the push toward legalization of marijuana. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, and may soon be celebrated as Michigan edges closer and closer to legalizing marijuana.

The Michigan Cannabis Lawyers attended the 2018 Hash Bash and were energized and inspired listening to the wonderful speakers.  After the protest, The Michigan Cannabis Lawyers headed over to the Monroe Street Fair for a continuation of the good times.

2019 Hash Bash

We were excited to see that the Monroe Street fair was even bigger than previous years and yet the street was as packed as ever, certainly a good sign for both the legalization movement and Hash Bash.

The Michigan Cannabis Lawyers look forward to attending again in 2019 when hopefully marijuana is legal in Michigan.

If you are looking for attorneys who stay up to date on marijuana and cannabis issues, contact the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517-512-8364.

2018 Hash Bash Michigan MICannabisLawyers.com

2018 Hash Bash Michigan