Articles Posted in Medical Marijuana

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently held a city of Warren ordinance regulating medical marijuana grows is not enforceable.

What Were the Warren Ordinances?

There were two requirements contained in a Warren ordinance that were in issue in this case. The ordinance applied to medical marijuana growers who grow in their own residential home. The ordnance required the growers to;

1) Register with the Department of Building and Safety Engineering and to pass a safety inspection for electrical, heating, plumbing, storage, and disposal of materials from marijuana, and

Governor Whitmer is abolishing the board that approves or denies medical marijuana licenses in Michigan. In its place will be a new board – called the Marijuana Regulatory Agency – which will oversee applications from both recreational and medical marijuana license applications. The new board will go into effect on April 30, 2019.

What Did the Old Marijuana Board Do?

Previous to Michigan voters approving the sale and use of recreational marijuana, the board oversaw the applications for medical marijuana licenses. The board began its work last July, and approved 121 licenses altogether. Of the 121, 105 are operating. These operating licenses are 4 safety compliance facilities, 5 secure transporters, 11 processors, 31 grow operations, and 54 provisioning centers (dispensaries).

Why the Change to the New Marijuana Regulatory Agency?

The old board had some issues approving or denying licenses in a timely manner. The licensing deadline has been pushed back many times since July 2018. This was the deadline set for currently operating dispensaries to become licensed or shutdown. The extensions were necessary because licenses were not being processed fast enough. Currently, there are an estimated 60 dispensaries operating without a license.

Medical Medical marijuana law moves fast in Michigan. Here is a snapshot of the latest news.

Detroit Puts Cap on Dispensaries

Detroit decided it will allow only 75 dispensaries to operate in the city. Dispensaries and processors are allowed in all industrial and business areas. The areas include midtown and downtown.

There are currently 62 dispensaries in business. Those dispensaries must obtain a license by September 15th or risk being shut down. However, the state itself has been slow to approve medical marijuana licenses and that deadline could be extended.

The Michigan Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act allows for communities to decide for themselves whether the allow marijuana businesses and which types of businesses. The communities then license the types of businesses.

Different Types of Marijuana Business Licenses

There are several different kinds of licenses:

Growing: License A – 500 plants, License B – 1,000 plants, License C – 1,500 plants

The Court of Appeals delivered a big win for medical marijuana rights. The Court ruled that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act takes priority over local city zoning ordinances. Caregivers may grow marijuana despite zoning ordinances so long as the caregiver grows in an enclosed, locked facility and meets location requirements. This comes from the case of Deruiter v. Township of Byron.

What Happened in the Case

Byron Township had a zoning ordinance prohibiting medical use of marijuana in commercial areas. The ordinance allowed medical marijuana caregiver operations in residential areas only. The ordinance referred to a caregiver grow as a home occupation.

In general, cities are certainly able to pass zoning laws that regulate land use. For example, a common zoning law would separate parts of cities into industrial and residential areas.

The State just approved new conditions for medical marijuana use.

The New Conditions

The new conditions approved for medical marijuana use include;

  • Arthritis
  • Autism
  • Chronic Pain
  • Colitis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Medical Conditions Denied for Medical Marijuana

The State also rejected medical marijuana use for several medical conditions. These include;

Michigan voters will officially go to the polls November 6th to vote on legal weed.

What Will the New Law Allow?

In November, a ballot initiative will include the following new laws: People 21 and over can possess and use marijuana. A person can have up to 2.5 ounces in public. but may keep up to 10 ounces at home. Marijuana could not be used in public.

Marijuana would no longer be tied to medicine. Anyone (21 and up) under this law could use marijuana.

It depends. This is a common question I’m asked when a person is facing probation.

Probation is a period of time following a conviction where a judge will set up requirements and prohibitions for the person convicted of a crime.

All Judges Are Different

What happens on probation is ultimately up to the judge, and all judges are different.

Dispensaries will be the centerpiece of the new Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act. Dispensaries (technically called provisioning centers) will be able to sell medical marijuana to an unlimited number of patients.

December 15 is the first date licenses for new medical marijuana industry positions can be obtained.

Five New Marijuana Jobs

The MMFLA creates five new marijuana industry roles.

The case of People v. Manuel is a 2017 Michigan Court of Appeals case with a good discussion of drying marijuana v. usable marijuana.

The Case Facts

Defendant had a grow operation in his garage, and police found marijuana in tin containers. The police seized the marijuana found and weighed it. The first time the police weighed the marijuana it came out to 1,195 grams. The second time the marijuana was weighed it came out to 1,069 grams. These amounts would be about twice the limit of 425.24 grams allowed. However, there was a question of whether the marijuana was usable or was drying.

A Michigan State University Professor testified the difference in weight could be due to moisture in the marijuana. As time passed, the recently harvested marijuana dried and the marijuana became lighter. This evidence showed the marijuana was in a state of drying because the evaporating moisture could account for the lightening weight.

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