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Medical Marijuana in Michigan: Provisional Center Vs Dispensary

Grewal Law PLLC

The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has been legal since the passage of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA)in 2008. After the law was passed by Michigan voters, there have been a number of legal issued examined related to the distribution, transport and use of marijuana. One area of contention has been on the establishment of medical marihuana dispensaries.

A dispensary is typically operated by a qualifying patient who sells marijuana to another qualifying patient. Other dispensary models are where a caregiver sells to a qualifying patient other than a patient the caregiver is registered to provide marijuana to through the state’s registry. Any medical marijuana dispensary in Lansing, MI whose business is threatened by local law enforcement should contact our marijuana attorneys at Grewal Law today.

A qualifying patient is someone with certain medical conditions who has registered to be able to use medical marijuana under the MMMA. In order to use the drug, a patient must have a registration identification card through the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP). In addition, the patient’s doctor must write him or her a valid prescription approving his or her use of medical marijuana.

Once a patient is registered with the MMMP, they are allowed to have the drug provided to them by a primary caregiver or a caregiver. The law defines a caregiver as someone who meets the following requirements:

  • The person must be at least 21 years old and has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marihuana.
  • The individual cannot have been convicted of a felony in the last 10 years.
  • The potential caregiver can never have been convicted of a felony defined as an assaultive crime or involving illegal drugs.

Caregivers are allowed to have 12 plants for up to 5 patients. These caregivers typically sell any extra marijuana, also known as an overage, to dispensaries in the state. The MMMA does not authorize dispensaries. The only mechanism for the passage of marijuana to patients under the act is through caregivers to their five registered patients.

Legal Action Related to Dispensaries and Provisioning Centers

The 2008 law did not allow for dispensaries, the issue of these facilities has gone in front of Michigan courts. In 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that marijuana dispensaries could be closed under the state’s public nuisance law. The court ruled the retail sale of marijuana went against the caregiver model created in the MMMA. Because of the Supreme Court ruling, local law enforcement were able to shut down dispensaries in their area of jurisdiction.

To combat problems, the Michigan Legislature passed legislation in 2016 to allow for the licensing and regulation of marijuana facilities. The new law which will take effect in December 2016 licenses growers, processors, transporters and dispensaries/provisional centers. Both dispensaries and provisional centers will be required to pay a 3 percent tax on their gross retail receipts under the 2016 law.

Because of the controversies related to dispensaries, provisional centers were created for a place where patients can get access to marijuana. A provision center provides a safe place for caregivers to meet with patients. The difference between a center and a dispensary is there are no edibles, plants, concentrates or other marijuana products available for sale.

The only product distributed at a center is pure marijuana. It is where caregivers can connect with patients to sell their overages in a protected environment.

Dispensaries and Provisional Centers in Michigan

As a dispensary owner, you could be facing harassment from local law enforcement not familiar with all the changes from the new law. Do not wait to get legal counsel, contact Grewal Law PLLC today. We are ready to help you understand 2016 Michigan laws on marijuana and how they impact your business.

Our marijuana defense lawyers are ready to help in your case. Call us for a no obligation quote at (888) 211-5798.


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