Wednesday, June 8, 2016
The 5 Most Common MMMA Violations - by Matthew Roman
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was passed in 2008. Even though medical cannabis has been legal for almost eight years, many people are still unaware of the laws that exist which can cause problems for both patients and caregivers if not followed correctly.
At Cannabis Legal Group, one of the main issues we often see is caregivers who have overages. This means the amount of USEABLE ready to consume marijuana is above the 2.5 ounce limit per patient. Caregivers often experience overages when their yields are much higher than anticipated. To combat this, it is important to have an appropriate disposal plan for the excess cannabis. With proper planning, this problem can be addressed and appropriate measures taken to ensure compliance with the law.
Another common problem occurs when a caregiver or patient allows another individual to have access to their grow. Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, a caregiver or patient is the only person allowed to have access to their grow. This means the grow must be in a locked enclosed facility and measures must be taken to guarantee that the caregiver is the only one with access. It is a violation of the Act and can become criminal conduct if this is violated. This also means that friends, neighbors, or family members, who either reside in the home or are coming to visit, cannot be in or have access to the grow.
An issue that many patients experience is when they purchase edibles and concentrates. These items are not currently defined as usable cannabis under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. Many patients will be pulled over by the police, especially after leaving a dispensary. They will advise the officer that they possess concentrates and edibles, believing they are protected from prosecution. They are then charged with possession of marijuana. This is an important law to know to prevent this type of situation from happening to you.
One important aspect of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is that a patient or caregiver is only allowed to possess up to 12 plants per patient, with a maximum number of 72 plants allowed if they reach their patient maximum quota. This number is strictly enforced. A plant is defined as anything with roots. Often times, people are confused and believe they are allowed 12 mature plants with smaller plants or “clones” not being counted. These smaller plants do count towards the plant limit. It is important to understand this so that problems with possessing too many plants can be avoided and the caregiver or patient can protect themselves from criminal prosecution.
Finally, improper transportation of marijuana is a misdemeanor that is extremely common. Under MCL 750.474, medical marijuana must be transported in an enclosed container in the trunk of a motor vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the cannabis must be enclosed in a container that is not readily accessible from the interior of the vehicle. If a person violates this provision, they may be charged with a misdemeanor.
Obviously, it is extremely easy for a small mistake to result in noncompliance with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. The problems listed above are examples of the common issues that medical cannabis patients and caregivers experience. It is of utmost important to always remain compliant with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act to avail yourself of the protections it provides.