Cannabis Automobile search rules 2020

Michigan Cannabis Automobile Search Rules 2020

Federal Cannabis Automobile Search Rules

In a recent decision out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, United States v. Gray, the odor of marijuana in a motor vehicle could provide the probable cause necessary for a warrantless search automobile search in a state that has legalized adult use of marijuana. What does this mean for Michigan Cannabis Automobile search rules?

More states across the Country are leaning toward this type of approach in determining the reasonableness of similar searches.

Cannabis Automobile Search Rules

Cannabis Automobile Search Rules


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Michigan Cannabis Automobile Search Rules 2020

Obviously, Michigan is now a recreational state. We will most likely be looking to other states that have recreational laws for guidance on how to decide these types of issues.

In Gray, two occupants of a vehicle were traveling on a downtown street without any lights on. Naturally, the County sheriff’s officers ended up pulling them over.

At first, the occupants denied smoking marijuana in the car. The officers believed the occupants were “smoking buds” while the vehicle was operable.

In Nevada, it is illegal to, “smoke or otherwise consume marijuana in a public place,… or in a moving vehicle.” Nev. Rev. Stat. § 453D.400(2). The officers then called in a drug detection dog to search the vehicle.

After that, the drug detection dog alerted to the vehicle during a search. Furthermore, the officers found a firearm in the backpack of one of the occupants. Not only did the trial court (a Nevada court) never made the distinction regarding the difference between the odor of burnt or unburnt marijuana but it also appears that the appellate court was left a set of facts pertaining simply to the smell of marijuana.

What does this mean for us here in Michigan? Our Michigan Recreational law allows for the possession of 2.5 oz. of flower marijuana and who are 21 years or older.


“I believe that the case may have had a different outcome had the trial court made a distinction regarding whether or not the odor was of burnt or unburnt marijuana.  Had the smell been of unburnt or fresh marijuana the evidence may of very well been suppressed and the charges dismissed,” says attorney Joshua Covert of the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers.

In summary, there shouldn’t be probable cause to warrant a search as long as there isn’t the smell of burning or burnt marijuana.

Michigan Cannabis Lawyers: "Don't admit you've been smoking to the Police"

Michigan Cannabis Lawyers: “Don’t admit you’ve been smoking to the police”

In conclusion, we stay in touch with the changing laws and regulations regarding Fourth Amendment searches and seizures. At the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers, we strive to stay ahead of the pitch and always ready to face a challenge.

Michigan Cannabis Laywers Logo

Michigan Cannabis Lawyers

Call us if you have any more questions (517) 512-8364

Josh Covert on Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness

3 Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness Tips


Hey Everybody its Josh Covert from the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers. I’m in at the office today had a little time to shoot a video so I thought I talked about Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness. I get a lot of questions about micro businesses!

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Michigan Cananbis Lawyers: Two Marijuana Speakeasies Busted

Two Marijuana Speakeasies Busted

Lounges Raided

Two Marijuana Speakeasies were raided by the police recently and shut down for not having a Michigan Marijuana License.

Call our office (517) 512-8364 or leave a comment below if you have questions about what you can do to prevent this happening to you.

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Read the full story here: Two Marijuana ‘Speakeasies’ Busted By Michigan State Police

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Marijuana Open Sign for MIchigan Marijuana businesses

Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness Information

Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness

Email a Michigan Cannabis Lawyer today:

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Similar to microbreweries for the production and sale of alcohol, a Michigan marijuana microbusiness is an independently owned businesses that grow, process and retail sell their craft goods to those 21 years of age or older.

Although limitations exist on production quantity and outlet ability, marihuana microbusinesses are well poised to compete in Michigan’s recreational landscape.

The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) was passed by voter initiative in late 2018. The state is likely to start accepting applications for marihuana microbusiness in September 2019.

For those who want to turn their passion into a fully integrated business operation without the need for large-scale capital contribution, the marihuana microbusiness may be the perfect avenue to pursue.

If you’re looking to break into the cannabis market and want to strategically explore your options, give the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers a call at (517) 512-8364.



See Also:

3 Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness Tips

Josh Covert on Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness

Josh Covert on Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness

Adult Use Marijuana Licensing

Can you license your existing marijuana brand or recipe? Bureau of Marijuana Regulation says yes.

Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness Information

Michigan Politicians Support Legalization at 2019 Hash Bash

The 48th Annual Ann Arbor Hash Bash festival took place April 6, 2019 and was an overwhelming success in the eyes of City Council Members. Big names in Michigan politics attended and spoke at the event.

To kick off the rally a recorded message from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was played, expressing pride that recreational marijuana has been legalized in Michigan. U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell made an appearance where she openly admitted to never smoking marijuana to the supportive crowd of marijuana enthusiasts. She followed her confession by stating that she believes recreational marijuana should be legalized and recognizes the shift that has happened in the mindset of people nationwide when it comes to cannabis use. “We have got to change the laws to go with what is happening across America,” Dingell said. “We’ve got to decriminalize marijuana and get people out of jail that are in jail.”

This indicates a clear step forward in the normalization of marijuana use, both medically and recreationally in Michigan. Nearly every level of government was represented at the festival, including First Ward City Council Members, County Commission, State Representative, State Senator, and prepared statements from Gov. Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel were also played. City Council Member, Anne Bannister told the attendees that Ann Arbor leaders are examining social-use policies in cities like San Francisco, Denver, and West Hollywood to allow on-site consumption of cannabis at certain establishments. “So stay tuned,” said Bannister.


New Hemp Program Allows for Licenses In Time For 2019 Planting Season

The State of Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD)recently announced a pilot program for industrial hemp.  This new program comes after President Trump signed the 2018 Federal Farm Bill into law which provided a framework for the states to create and regulate  hemp industries.  Michigan’s hemp pilot program is great news for those who were hoping to be able to plant a crop this spring.  The pilot program will have two different licenses available.  One license will be required for those who choose to plant, propagate, grow cultivate or harvest hemp, the other license will be required to process,handle, broker or market hemp.

If you are interested in obtaining either license, it is important that you start by visiting the MDARD website . There you will see a list of dates (4/23, 4/24, 4/29, 4/30) where MDARD is offering a series of on-site licensing events on the campus of Michigan State University.  Prior to attending the event, interested participants will need to call MDARD customer service at 1-800-292-3939 and  reserve a spot.  It is also required that applicants have the proper applications (Hemp Grower Application, Hemp Processor Handler Application) filled out before attending the event.  MDARD has also provided application checklists (Hemp Grower Checklist, Hemp Processor Handler Checklist)  for applicants to ensure they are properly prepared for the licensing events.   You will see each of the applications requires a Federal identification number. If you are applying as an individual your social security number will work, but if you are applying as an entity such as a corporation, LLC or  LLP, you will need to have legally created your entity and been issued an EIN  (Federal Employer Identification Number) .  If you are unsure how to create your business entity or are unsure which entity is best for you, we suggest calling our office (517-512-8364) and scheduling a consultation to discuss the options available to you.

Can you license you existing marijuana brand or recipe? Bureau of Marijuana Regulation says yes.

On March 21, 2019 the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation (BMR) released an advisory bulletin regarding intellectual property now allowing licensed facilities to use another company’s brands or recipes. Michigan medical marijuana licensed facilities can now enter into licensing and royalty agreements based on the number of units sold. The BMR will require a copy of the contract which must include the names of the individuals involved. This is good news for companies that have established brands and or unique recipes as they may now be able to capitalize on the brand or recipe without obtaining a license under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). If you have questions regarding either licensing a brand or obtaining an established brand call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517-512-8364.

smoking marijuana impair ability to drive

Does smoking marijuana impair your ability to drive?

The Michigan Impaired Driving Safety Commission was created and given the task of conducting research in order to recommend a scientifically supported threshold of 9-THC. This threshold, much like the .08 blood alcohol level threshold, would indicate to Michigan police whether or not a cannabis user is considered impaired while driving.

Similar studies have been done nationwide with varying results, yet most were unable to come to an absolute threshold that indicates impairment. A 2017 study involving driving simulators and instrumented vehicles revealed that cannabis-impaired subjects typically drive slower, keep greater following distances, and take fewer risks while driving than when driving sober (Compton, 2017). It was believed during this study that this behavior was due to drivers attempting to overcompensate for the subjective effects of using cannabis. In comparison, a 2013 report found an estimated 26% increase in crash risk when the driver had used cannabis (Elvik, 2013); in 2012 a study concluded ingesting cannabis increased the risk of a crash by a factor of 1 to 3 (Schulze et al., 2012); and in 2017 the National Academies of Sciences concluded that there was no substantial evidence of a statistical association between cannabis use and increased risk of a vehicle crash but that there was an increased risk of about 22%-36%.

A percentage of added risk is not enough to determine a specific threshold of THC in the system that would render a driver impaired. This threshold has been difficult to pin down due to how 9-THC is processed through the body. While THC in one’s system goes through a rapid elimination process once ingested the effects on the central nervous system are often delayed. This creates a window of time where the user may not feel the full effect of ingesting cannabis yet the levels of THC in their system are already starting to lower. A test in 2005 showed that 20 minutes after smoking cannabis the user’s 9-THC blood levels were significantly lower than when tested right after smoking (Papafotiou et al., 2005).  



The Safety Commission concluded that there is no scientifically supported threshold of THC that would directly indicate a driver is impaired. Therefore, the Commission recommends the State of Michigan to utilize roadside sobriety test(s) to determine whether a driver is impaired by cannabis instead of blood tests.


If you are facing a criminal charge for driving under the influence of marijuana call Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517-512-8364.  


Michigan Governor Moves to Abolish Medical Marijuana Licensing Board

Today, March 1, 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an order effectively abolishing the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency will take its place and oversee the regulation of both medical and recreational marijuana licensing. Gov. Whitmer was quoted saying, “All elements of this Agency have been designed to serve and better protect Michigan residents, and I’m eager to have a unified effort across state departments to make sure this process runs effectively and efficiently.”

The current plan is to have an Executive Director that is appointed by the Governor run the agency. The director would be limited to a 4 year term. The Agency would also be required to hold 4 public hearings each year to hear complaints and provide information to the public. This order will not go into effect until April 30, 2019. Until then, Republican legislators have 60 days to decide whether to object, veto, or accept the order.

The Michigan Cannabis Lawyers are excited about this new development in Michigan and are hopeful of the positive impact this change will make on the industry. If you are interested in obtaining a license for a marijuana facility or have questions about how the new order may affect you or your prospective business, call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517-512-8364.

So if you eat enough turkey, that would be classified as a drug and they could be arrested, correct?

This is a excerpt from a recent trial where my client was charged with a misdemeanor for driving under the influence of marijuana.  After trial my client was found not guilty.  The cross examination of the DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) officer played a huge part in the result we achieved. To read the officers answer to this question and where it lead click here:

Drugged Driving Trial Excerpt