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Monday, August 1, 2016

Why Caregivers Should Cultivate Away from Their Primary Residence - by Paula Givens

Why Caregivers Should Cultivate Away from Their Primary Residence

1. Overly Sensitive and Nosey Neighbors: 

Very often a frustrated neighbor initiates a call to the police, which then causes unwanted intrusions into your cultivation facilities.  Local Police Departments are sensitive to the complaints of neighbors about excess odor, light and traffic related to suspected cultivation operations.  

In commercial and industrial areas the sensitivities of your neighbors are quite different from residential areas.  Very often those aspects of your grow operation that annoy your residential neighbors go completely unnoticed in a commercial or industrial setting.

By moving your cultivation facility away from your residence you are able to remove one of the major causes of police visits to your grow – the complaints of your overly sensitive residential neighbors.

2. Helps Caregivers Better Follow the MMMA:  

Another reason to consider separating your cultivation facilities from your primary residence is that, in my experience, this separation helps caregivers to better follow the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (“MMMA”).

Many of the legal issues that arise under the MMMA are because the grow is located at a residence, including issues with prohibited access and improper locking, which arise when the caregiver feels compelled to relax the standards of operation for the convenience of family members.  This is not an issue at a commercial/industrial facility.   

It is easier to be compliant with the MMMA when the caregiver has full control over those with access to the growing facilities.  

3. Minors:  

One of the federal priorities respecting cannabis is that minors have no access to the product.  By separating your cultivation facility from your residence you are able to prevent your children and other children from accidental access to your cultivation operations.  

4. May Prevent Your Residence from Being Searched: 

     The stories are familiar to us all; a caregiver is raided and not only do the police search the cultivation facility, but also the house.  Too often, personal property that has nothing to do with caregiving is seized in these circumstances.

     If your residence and your cultivation facility are not separate, then anytime your grow is searched every aspect of your residence is subject to search and possible seizure.

     I can not guarantee you that if your grow and residence are separate and you have a search and seizure at your grow that there will never be a search of your home.   However, I believe the separation of the two will make it much more difficult for the police to justify searching your home.  This is true primarily because your home and cultivation facilities are no longer directly connected.   

     I believe that if the two are separate the police will be forced to apply for and justify a separate search warrant of your home.  The search of your home will no longer simply be incidental to a search of your grow.  

     In my estimation, you are twice as likely to have your cultivation facilities interfered with by the police if it is located in a residential area.  It is much easier to protect your property from seizure now than try to get it back later.

5. Better Conditions to Operate a Business:  

     Basements and garages are made for storage, and are not designed specifically to cultivate cannabis.  Industrial and commercial space is far better suited to the cultivation of cannabis than your home.  Your home is for living, not for growing.  

     Your homeowners insurance policy has a clause in it that requires you to notify the Insurance company if you make material change to the use of your property.  Installing multiple lights, HVAC equipment, humidifiers and other related electrical equipment is arguably a “material change.”  In the 
event of fire this provides the insurance company with an argument that a material change existed and they should not be required to cover your loss.  

     If your cultivation facility is located in an industrial space you have so much more control over your business, what happens to your business and your personal life.   

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