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Skilled Legal Counsel For Medical Marijuana Businesses

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) contains ambiguous language about the rights of businesses to grow and sell medical marijuana. The term “dispensary” is not specifically mentioned within the act, so some people argue that the sale of marijuana from private shops is illegal while others maintain that no specific mention of dispensary’s prohibition means they are legal.

The 2016 Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) was enacted to promote growth and regulation of Michigan’s developing marijuana industry. The law established regulations and guidelines for medicinal marijuana service providers and created a licensing board. Growers, dispensaries and processing facilities can benefit from knowledgeable legal counsel as the ever-changing laws on medical marijuana continue to evolve.

At Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C., we work diligently to stay at the forefront of the controversial and somewhat flexible law legalizing medical marijuana, and we can advise clients on a range of medical marijuana-related issues. Our attorneys are prepared to defend patients, dispensary owners, growers and registered caregivers in numerous circumstances, and we will defend your rights to the fullest extent possible under Michigan and federal laws.

What Defines A Dispensary?

This is a controversial topic, and law enforcement has become liberal in its definition. To operate dispensaries, one must first receive authorization from local jurisdictions and be licensed to operate under local ordinances. Ordinances differ between municipalities, so it is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney.

Can Law Enforcement Legally Shut Down My Medical Marijuana Dispensary?

If local ordinances are not strictly followed, law enforcement may shut down any business. Local officials have also been using the federal law, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, to shut down dispensaries. Ever since Michigan courts enacted the MMFLA in 2016, local jurisdictions have been interpreting the law liberally. We can defend your business and uphold the provisions of the MMFLA.

Where Should Certified Patients Obtain Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana should be obtained from a qualified primary caregiver who has been issued and who possesses a registry identification card. Patients must name their primary caregiver within their state registration application.

Is There A List Of Qualified Primary Caregivers?

Currently, a list of caregivers does not exist. Consult an attorney or a physician for advice on how to find a qualified caregiver.

How Do I Become A Qualified Primary Caregiver?

To become a caregiver, you must register with the Michigan Department of Community Health. You are not eligible to be a caregiver if you have previously been convicted of a felony drug offense. Registered caregivers will be issued a state registry identification card for each qualifying patient who names them as a primary caregiver. As a caregiver, you must provide the state with your name, address, birth date and Social Security number at the time of a patient’s registration. You are permitted to assist up to five patients, and you must sign a statement agreeing to provide marijuana only to qualifying patients who have named you as their primary caregiver.

How Much Marijuana Can A Caregiver Cultivate Or Possess?

Caregivers are permitted to cultivate up to 12 plants and possess up to 2.5 ounces of “usable” marijuana in a locked facility for each qualified patient who identifies them as a primary caregiver, up to five patients. Interpretations on what qualifies as a plant and what qualifies as “usable” marijuana differ between municipalities, so we strongly recommend consultation with an experienced lawyer on this issue. The slightest violation can incur criminal drug charges and severe consequences.

Do Primary Caregivers Receive Compensation For Costs?

Yes, caregivers may receive compensation for costs associated with assisting a registered, qualified patient in the use of medical marijuana. This does not constitute the sale of controlled substances.

Is The Sale And Purchase Of Marijuana Growing Equipment Legal?

Yes, growing equipment is the same equipment that is used for indoor and outdoor cultivation of many plants. It is not illegal to sell, purchase or possess much of this equipment, but you should consult with an attorney to be sure you are following all state laws.

Let Us Help You Protect Your Rights And Your Business

We can help you avoid an unintentional drug-related criminal misstep. Let us answer your questions or concerns during a free initial consultation at our Westland office. Arrange yours online or call us at 877-354-0660. We offer evening and weekend appointments based on the needs of our clients, and we are prepared to provide you with answers and cost-effective legal assistance.