MI Cannabis Regulatory Agency withdraws request for hemp-conversion rulemaking

April 15, 2022 – Lansing, Michigan:

Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency (formerly Marijuana Regulatory Agency) announced its intent to withdraw proposed rulemaking request to allow licensed conversions of hemp-based CBD to D9 THC due to negative feedback:

After receiving a significant amount of public comment regarding safety concerns and the lack of scientific and public health data related to the conversion process outlined in the proposed Industrial Hemp Rules for Marihuana Businesses (2021-92 LR), the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) has withdrawn this request for rulemaking. The CRA will submit a new request for rulemaking for the Industrial Hemp Rules for Marihuana Businesses rule set to propose the limit(s) on total THC for industrial hemp products as required by recent legislative updates to the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA).

Follow Michigan Cannabis Lawyers on Instagram @micannabislawyers to stay informed on updates to Michigan cannabis and hemp licensing laws and practices.

2021 Tax revenue sharing for Adult Use Retail and Microbusiness communities

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Treasury today announced that more than $42.2 million will be distributed among 163 municipalities and counties as a part of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.

Next week, 62 cities, 15 villages, 33 townships and 53 counties will be receiving payments from the Marihuana Regulation Fund. For the state of Michigan’s 2021 fiscal year, this means each eligible municipality and county will receive more than $56,400 for every licensed retail store and microbusiness located within its jurisdiction.

“The Michigan Department of Treasury will distribute these dollars as soon as practical to eligible local units of government,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “The doubling of this year’s payment amounts will have a larger impact on local government budgets.”

Revenue was collected from 374 licensees among the state’s cities, villages and townships during the 2021 fiscal year. Some of these municipalities host more than one licensed retail store and microbusiness.

For the 2021 fiscal year, more than $111 million was collected from the 10% adult-use marijuana excise tax. In total, there was $172 million available for distribution from the fund.

State law outlines how much is distributed from the Marihuana Regulation Fund.

Aside from the more than $42.2 million in disbursements to municipalities and counties, $49.3 million was sent to the School Aid Fund for K-12 education and another $49.3 million to the Michigan Transportation Fund.

In total, more than $1.1 billion in adult-use marijuana sales was reported for fiscal year 2021.

“It’s rewarding to see that the agency’s balanced regulatory approach is effectively protecting consumers while still allowing Michigan businesses to grow and thrive,” said MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo. “The funding provided directly to local governments – and the thousands of jobs created across the state – show that Michigan is leading the way in the cannabis industry.”

Michigan Hemp supplier license [Watch this space]

Attention #Michigan Hemp growers and clone nurseries: A recent update from the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (available here: https://www.michigan.gov/mra/ero-hemp-transition-faqs) indicates that MDARD (Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development) will soon be working to introduce a Hemp Supplier license.

If you are interested in clone shipping and hemp shipping in or from Michigan, get with Michigan Cannabis Lawyers for more details and advice on staying in full compliance with rapidly changing Michigan laws. Call us at (517) 512-8364.

 

MRA announces updated Rules and fee levels

Effective March 7, 2022, new MRA Rules, license type, and fee levels will be implemented. Please see below for details from Michigan’s MRA.

For up to the minute news, advice, and cutting edge legal representation, be sure to contact the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517 512-8364.

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March 4, 2022 – In an effort to continue stimulating business growth while preserving safe consumer access to marijuana, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has updated the administrative rule sets, effective Monday, March 7, 2022. As a result of the update, there will be numerous changes occurring on the website and to the forms, applications, and various publications. Highlights of the rules and process changes are noted below.

License applicants are advised that the applications, step-by-step instructions, and other educational resources that were previously available on the MRA website for adult-use establishments and medical marijuana facilities are being updated to comply with the updated rule sets. Additionally, the MRA advisory and technical bulletins are being updated, as applicable.

Applicants and licensees are encouraged to obtain applications and forms directly from the website to ensure they are using the most up-to-date materials. Previous versions of the medical and adult-use applications will not be accepted. To ensure applications are processed as quickly and efficiently as possible, applicants are encouraged to submit applications through the online application portal, Accela Citizen Access (ACA). ACA is also being updated to be consistent with the updated rule sets and mirror the changes made to the paper applications.

Highlights of the Rule Changes

New Fees

  • The adult-use and medical marijuana application fees were lowered from $6,000 to $3,000.
  • Adult-use establishment renewal tiers were removed; licensees who have already been invoiced a renewal fee are to pay the fee as invoiced.
  • Medical marijuana facility renewal tiers were removed; this change will take effect for fiscal year 2023 (please refer to the regulatory assessment bulletin that outlined the fees for fiscal year 2022 for medical marijuana facilities).
  • See the Licenses rule set for the full list of new, lower fees for adult-use establishment licenses. Please visit the MRA website and click on the Laws, Rules, & Other Resources link.

New Adult-Use Class A Marijuana Microbusiness License

  • Initial licensure fee is $18,600 and allows a licensee to grow up to 300 plants.
  • Class A marijuana microbusinesses may purchase marijuana concentrate and marijuana-infused products from a processor.
  • Marijuana liability insurance will be required upon licensure and at renewal.

New Adult-Use Educational Research License

  • Applications will only be accepted from organizations that have been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Licensees are required to have proof of DEA registration to operate.
  • License is valid for one year and does not carry an application fee, a licensure fee, or a renewal fee to operate.

Application Changes

  • The adult-use requirements for applicant disclosure have been updated to match medical requirements for applicant disclosure; those with less than 2.5% ownership interest are not required to be disclosed.
  • A definition of a trustee was added to the rules.
  • Added a rule that the MRA can administratively withdrawal applications that are over one year old and have had no determination made.
  • Renewal applications may be denied for failure to submit an annual financial statement as required.

Enforcement

  • Documents have been updated; those interested in licensure can find copies on the MRA website by clicking on the MRA Bulletins link and expanding the Technical Bulletins tab:
    • Prelicensure inspection checklist
    • 30-day inspection checklist
    • Semi-annual inspection checklist
    • SCF Inspection Report

Sampling & Testing

  • There have been significant updates to the requirements for sampling and testing of marijuana and marijuana product.
  • There have been modifications to allow more movement of product within the market prior to final, full, safety compliance testing being required.

Operations

  • Contactless and limited contact transactions – including curbside service and drive-thru operations – are allowed, with municipal approval.
  • Product that is required to be destroyed must be destroyed within 90 days.
  • There are updated requirements for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Declaratory Rulings

  • Set forth a complete rule set outlining the process and requirements for a Request for a Declaratory Ruling from the Agency.

Infused and Edible Products

  • Updated requirements for packaging and labeling of products.

Potential Service Interruption While Making System Changes

Due to the number of changes that need to be made across the MRA website and within ACA, the public may experience brief interruptions to service while the MRA makes these changes.

The MRA appreciates your understanding and patience while the necessary system changes are made.

For questions, please contact MRA-Adult-Use-Marijuana@Michigan.gov.

PROBATION AND THE USE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Since 2008, the state of Michigan has allowed the use of medical marijuana for patients. But the burning question has continued to ensue, how does this apply to someone on probation? We know that probation departments across the state limit the use of alcohol, and other drugs while an individual is on probation, but when cannabis is medicinal, should it be applied the same? The Court of Appeals has finally recognized that the medical use of cannabis cannot be held against probationers, or even denied. 

PEOPLE OF MI V MICHAEL EUGENE THUE

Michael Thue was arrested in 2019, and ultimately placed on probation. When this occurred the probation department denied Thue the right to use Cannabis, although he held a valid medical card. Thue filed a motion, and argued this was a violation of the MMMA law passed in 2008 which states “A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card is not subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act.” The Court of Appeals turned to People v Koon, and People v Latz, which both held that when a statute conflicts with the MMMA, the MMMA provides that all inconsistent acts do not apply to the medical use of Marijuana, and so long as the patient is in compliance with the MMMA, they remain immune from such prosecutions. Through their debate, the Court turned to many out of state cases, before ultimately, the Court of Appeals held under People of the State of Michigan v Michael Eugene Thue that a probationer cannot be refused their right to use Medicinal Cannabis, when they remain compliant to the rules of the MMMA. Josh Covert, of the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers stated “This is a win for the many patients Cannabis has proven to help.” If you, or someone you know, is placed on probation, and needs to ensure they may still continue the use of Cannabis while completing this process, be sure to reach out to the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers (Covert Law Firm), and allow one of us to help you through this process and ensure your rights are also not violated!

 

Written By: attorney Ashley Petriches

Veterinarians May Now Consult With Pet Owners Regarding THC and CBD

Governor Whitmer recently signed into law House Bill 5085 which now allows veterinarians to consult with pet owners in regards to administering marijuana or industrial hemp to their pets .  Prior to House Bill 5085 veterinarians were at risk of loosing their veterinarian license if they consulted with pet owners regarding marijuana or industrial hemp. Although industrial hemp is legal under federal laws, marijuana remains illegal as it is a schedule one controlled substance.   Industrial hemp would refer to cannabis or cannabis products that contain less than .3% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Currently the market for industrial hemp primarily focuses on cannabidiol (CBD).  CBD has been shown to be beneficial in treating or assisting with the treatment of a wide variety of medical issues that affect our pets.  Many pet owners were currently were administering CBD to their dogs to treat conditions like epilepsy or arthritis but without the consultation or advice of their veterinarian.  Now both pet owners and veterinarians can engage in a free and open dialogue regarding the medical use of marihuana and industrial hemp.  This could also be a benefit to the businesses of veterinarians who decide to embrace industrial hemp and offer the products at their office.

If you are a veterinarian or pet owner and have questions on how this new law impacts you or your pet please give us a call at the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers. (517)-512-8364.

Michigan Now Allows for Automatic Expungement of Certain Marijuana Convictions

Starting April 1, 2021 Michigan will start the process of expunging certain marijuana misdemeanor convictions.   The new law allows individuals that had previously been convicted of marijuana misdemeanors to apply to have the conviction cleared off of their criminal record but only if the offense would not be considered illegal if it were to have been committed after December 6, 2018 (Read The Law Here).  The process requires the individual to submit an application for expungement to the county prosecuting attorney that prosecuted the original case.  The prosecuting attorney is to either approve or deny the application for expungement.  If the prosecuting attorney approves the expungement or fails to file a response within 60 days, the circuit court must grant the expungement within 21 days.  If the prosecuting attorney objects to the expungement application, the circuit court will schedule an evidentiary hearing within 30 days where the prosecuting attorney has the burden of proof to show that it is more likely than not (preponderance of evidence) that the charged offense would not have been legal even if it were to have occurred after December 6, 2018.

It is important to understand that the prosecuting attorney  must present evidence at the hearing to show that the conduct wouldn’t have been legal today.  This hearing will be governed by the Michigan Rules of Evidence.  This will require the prosecuting attorney to present evidence, most likely police officer testimony, to show why the misdemeanor would have been illegal prior to thee enactment of the  adult-use marijuana laws.  This testimony will be subject to cross examination and having an attorney that understands the rules of evidence and the current marihuana laws can be critical to the success of an expungement application.   If you have any questions about the new expungement laws please call the Covert Law Firm at (517) 512-8364 to speak with attorneys who are knowledgeable and can help you get the expungement you deserve.

 

Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency Creates Rules for Marijuana-Infused Beverages

The MRA just announced a process for licensed processors to obtain approval for marijuana-infused beverages.  The Technical Bulletin dated January 4, 2021 requires any licensed processor who is interested in creating a marihuana-infused beverage to submit a request to the MRA.  The request includes a number of documents such as confirmation that the processing facility is currently in the process of receiving Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification and a complete Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan. The marijuana-infused beverage must be self stable and will be required to maintain potency over a three month period.  There also must be a research and development plan submitted to prove the shelf stability of the marijuana-infused beverages.

It will be interesting to see how marijuana processors figure out the potency issue known as THC leeching.   THC has been difficult for many processors to properly dose beverages because of the solubility of THC and the ability to absorb into many material such as the lining in aluminum cans.  The products will also be tested for sedimentation to ensure homogeneity.   This is also difficult with THC as it will often separate over time from the beverage.  It is exciting to see that soon Michigan cannabis consumers can enjoy marijuana-infused beverages.   It will be interesting to see which current beverage producers will be moving forward in the new marijuana-infused beverage industry.  It is expected that their experience with beverage manufacturing and GMP plans will give make them valued partners.  If you have any questions about the marijuana-infused beverage approval process call the Michigan Cannabis Lawyers at 517-512-8364.

 

The Attorney for PEOPLE v. LATZ comments on the case four years later

PEOPLE v. LATZ

Our friend and client Callen Latz was charged with improper transport of medical marijuana back in 2014. Joshua Covert defended his rights in 2016 and won the case PEOPLE OF MI V CALLEN TRENT LATZ

PEOPLE v. LATZ Joshua Covert Quote

Now in 2020, this is what Josh has to say about his landmark case:

 

Sources

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/21/court-medical-marijuana-law-trumps-law-on-transpor/

Michigan cities optin in www.micannabislawyer.com

Michigan Cities Opting into Marijuana

Michigan Cities Opting in

MMFLA Municipality Cites Opting in

 

MMFLA Michigan Cites Opting out of the MMFLA

 

Michigan voted for marijuana legalization in 2109 with a YES to Prop 1. This means that you can get your municipality to opt into the program and obtain a license to sell, process, and transport marijuana.

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