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Thursday, June 28, 2018

V.G.I.P Update -July 2018 - by Kathy Hess

Well folks, we’re almost there!  We can see the finish line, as the proposal to legalize recreational marijuana will be on the ballot this November!  We still have a ways to go, and the fight is going to get bare-knuckled as we get closer to the end. Be sure, there will be several prohibition lobbies and organizations that will be working overtime to try to convince the people of Michigan to vote “No”. They’ve spent millions in states like CA, OR, WA and CO to keep the green illegal. (Obviously millions wasted, but that won’t stop them.) They will use old, disproven, “Refer Madness” tactics to scare people.  But we can do this with knowledge on our side.

We have two important tasks before us. 1.) We have to get out and Vote! Mark your calendars, make a day of it, and offer to take neighbors to the polls with you.  Only 55% of the eligible voters cast ballots in the 2016 election, encourage others to get out and Vote!  2.) We need to educate ourselves, about those running for office in all races and about the true language of the proposal.

If you’re thinking that it doesn’t matter who you vote for this November, as long as you get to vote a “yes” on the marijuana proposal, everything will be fine, you’re sadly mistaken.  Our electorates will still have the ability to amend the proposal after the voters approve it, with 2/3rds majority vote.  If we elect a number of congressman and senators who have been historically (currently) anti cannabis, there is a good chance they could amend the proposal, strip provisions and further restrict the citizens the ability to cultivate, the amount one can posses or the rules on transfer.  So be sure to know where your candidates stand on the issue of cannabis. 

Anti groups will undoubtedly lie about what the proposal will mean for residence, employers and minors.  Know the facts, be ready to dispute their claims, to squash the inevitable fear mongering they will sling.  We’ve broken the proposal into two halves. The first is below; the second half will be in August’s issue.

                                                                                                                                                                 

Here is the 2018 Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative proposal (Part 1): 

An initiation of legislation to allow under state law the personal possession and use of marihuana by persons 21 years of age or older; to provide for the lawful cultivation and sale of marihuana and industrial hemp by persons 21 years of age or older; to permit the taxation of revenue derived from commercial marihuana facilities; to permit the promulgation of administrative rules; and to prescribe certain penalties for violations of this act. The people of the State of Michigan enact:

Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act.

Sec. 2. The purpose of this act is to make marihuana legal under state and local law for adults 21 years of age or older, to make industrial hemp legal under state and local law, and to control the commercial production and distribution of marihuana under a system that licenses, regulates, and taxes the businesses involved. The intent is to prevent arrest and penalty for personal possession and cultivation of marihuana by adults 21 years of age or older; remove the commercial production and distribution of marihuana from the illicit market; prevent revenue generated from commerce in marihuana from going to criminal enterprises or gangs; prevent the distribution of marihuana to persons under 21 years of age; prevent the diversion of marihuana to illicit markets; ensure the safety of marihuana and marihuana-infused products; and ensure security of marihuana establishments. To the fullest extent possible, this act shall be interpreted in accordance with the purpose and intent set forth in this section.

Sec. 3. As used in this act: Definitions and terms (omitted for space, basic definitions of terms such as; cultivate, marijuana, department, industrial hemp, licensee, ect.)

Sec. 4. 1. This act does not authorize:
(a) operating, navigating, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat while under the influence of marihuana;
(b) transfer of marihuana or marihuana accessories to a person under the age of 21;
(c) any person under the age of 21 to possess, consume, purchase or otherwise obtain, cultivate, process, transport, or sell marihuana;
(d) separation of plant resin by butane extraction or another method that utilizes a substance with a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit in any public place, motor vehicle, or within the curtilage of any residential structure;
(e) consuming marihuana in a public place or smoking marihuana where prohibited by the person who owns, occupies, or manages the property, except for purposes of this subdivision a public place does not include an area designated for consumption within a municipality that has authorized consumption in designated areas that are not accessible to persons under 21 years of age;
(f) cultivating marihuana plants if the plants are visible from a public place without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids or outside of an enclosed area equipped with locks or other functioning security devices that restrict access to the area;
(g) consuming marihuana while operating, navigating, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat, or smoking marihuana within the passenger area of a vehicle upon a public way;
(h) possessing marihuana accessories or possessing or consuming marihuana on the grounds of a public or private school where children attend classes in preschool programs, kindergarten programs, or grades 1 through 12, in a school bus, or on the grounds of any correctional facility; or
(i) Possessing more than 2.5 ounces of marihuana within a person's place of residence unless the excess marihuana is stored in a container or area equipped with locks or other functioning security devices that restrict access to the contents of the container or area.

2
. This act does not limit any privileges, rights, immunities, or defenses of a person as provided in the Michigan medical marihuana act, 2008 IL 1, MCL 333.26421 to 333.26430, the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to 333.27801, or any other law of this state allowing for or regulating marihuana for medical use.

3.
This act does not require an employer to permit or accommodate conduct otherwise allowed by this act in any workplace or on the employer's property. This act does not prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for violation of a workplace drug policy or for working while under the influence of marihuana. This act does not prevent an employer from refusing to hire, discharging, disciplining, or otherwise taking an adverse employment action against a person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of that person's violation of a workplace drug policy or because that person was working while under the influence
of marihuana.

4.
This act allows a person to prohibit or otherwise regulate the consumption, cultivation, distribution, processing, sale, or display of marihuana and marihuana accessories on property the person owns, occupies, or manages, except that a lease agreement may not prohibit a tenant from lawfully possessing and consuming marihuana by means other than smoking.

5. All other laws inconsistent with this act do not apply to conduct that is permitted by this act.
Sec. 5. 1. Notwithstanding any other law or provision of this act, and except as otherwise provided in section 4 of this act, the following acts by a person 21 years of age or older are not unlawful, are not an offense, are not grounds for seizing or forfeiting property, are not grounds for arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, are not grounds for search or inspection, and are not grounds to deny any other right or privilege:

(a) except as permitted by subdivision (b), possessing, using or consuming, internally possessing, purchasing, transporting, or processing 2.5 ounces or less of marihuana, except that not
more than 15 grams of marihuana may be in the form of marihuana concentrate;
(b) within the person's residence, possessing, storing, and processing not more than 10 ounces of marihuana and any marihuana produced by marihuana plants cultivated on the premises and cultivating not more than 12 marihuana plants for personal use, provided that no more than 12 marihuana plants are possessed, cultivated, or processed on the premises at once;
(c) assisting another person who is 21 years of age or older in any of the acts described in this section; and
(d) giving away or otherwise transferring without remuneration up to 2.5 ounces of marihuana, except that not more than 15 grams of marihuana may be in the form of marihuana concentrate, to a person 21 years of age or older, as long as the transfer is not advertised or promoted to the public.

2.
Notwithstanding any other law or provision of this act, except as otherwise provided in section 4 of this act, the use, manufacture, possession, and purchase of marihuana accessories by a person 21 years of age or older and the distribution or sale of marihuana accessories to a person 21 years of age or older is authorized, is not unlawful, is not an offense, is not grounds for seizing or forfeiting property, is not grounds for arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, and is not grounds to deny any other
right or privilege.

3.
A person shall not be denied custody of or visitation with a minor for conduct that is permitted by this act, unless the person's behavior is such that it creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated.

Sec. 6. 1
. Except as provided in section 4, a municipality may completely prohibit or limit the number of marihuana establishments within its boundaries. Individuals may petition to initiate an ordinance to provide for the number of marihuana establishments allowed within a municipality or to completely prohibit marihuana establishments within a municipality, and such ordinance shall be submitted to the electors of the municipality at the next regular election when a petition is signed by qualified electors in the municipality in a number greater than 5% of the votes cast for governor by qualified electors in the municipality at the last gubernatorial election. A petition under this subsection is subject to section 488 of the Michigan election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL 168.488.

2
. A municipality may adopt other ordinances that are not unreasonably impracticable and do not conflict with this act or with any rule promulgated pursuant to this act and that:

(a) establish reasonable restrictions on public signs related to marihuana establishments;
(b) regulate the time, place, and manner of operation of marihuana establishments and of the production, manufacture, sale, or display of marihuana accessories;
(c) authorize the sale of marihuana for consumption in designated areas that are not accessible to persons under 21 years of age, or at special events in limited areas and for a limited time; and
(d) designate a violation of the ordinance and provide for a penalty for that violation by a marihuana establishment, provided that such violation is a civil infraction and such penalty is a civil fine of not more than $500.

3
. A municipality may adopt an ordinance requiring a marihuana establishment with a physical location within the municipality to obtain a municipal license, but may not impose qualifications for licensure that conflict with this act or rules promulgated by the department.

4. A municipality may charge an annual fee of not more than $5,000 to defray application, administrative, and enforcement costs associated with the operation of the marihuana establishment in the municipality.

5. A municipality may not adopt an ordinance that restricts the transportation of marihuana through the municipality or prohibits a marihuana grower, a marihuana processor, and a marihuana retailer from operating within a single facility or from operating at a location shared with a marihuana facility operating pursuant to the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to
333.27801.

Sec. 7. 1. The department is responsible for implementing this act and has the powers and duties necessary to control the commercial production and distribution of marihuana. The department shall employ personnel and may contract with advisors and consultants as necessary to adequately perform its duties. No person who is pecuniarily interested, directly or indirectly, in any marihuana establishment may be an employee, advisor, or consultant involved in the implementation, administration, or enforcement of this act. An employee, advisor, or consultant of the department may not be personally liable for any action at law for damages sustained by a person because of an action performed or done in the performance of their duties in the implementation, administration, or enforcement of this act. The department of state police shall cooperate and assist the department in conducting background investigations of applicants. Responsibilities of the department include:

(a) promulgating rules pursuant to section 8 of this act that are necessary to implement, administer, and enforce this act;
(b) granting or denying each application for licensure and investigating each applicant to determine eligibility for licensure, including conducting a background investigation on each person holding an ownership interest in the applicant;
(c) ensuring compliance with this act and the rules promulgated thereunder by marihuana establishments by performing investigations of compliance and regular inspections of marihuana establishments and by taking appropriate disciplinary action against a licensee, including prescribing civil fines for violations of this act or rules and suspending, restricting, or revoking a state license;
(d) holding at least 4 public meetings each calendar year for the purpose of hearing complaints and receiving the views of the public with respect to administration of this act;
(e) collecting fees for licensure and fines for violations of this act or rules promulgated thereunder, depositing all fees collected in the marihuana regulation fund established by section 14 of this act, and remitting all fines collected to be deposited in the general fund; and
(f) submitting an annual report to the governor covering the previous year, which report shall include the number of state licenses of each class issued, demographic information on licensees, a description of enforcement and disciplinary actions taken against licensees, and a statement of revenues and expenses of the department related to the implementation, administration, and enforcement of this act.

Sec. 8. 1.
The department shall promulgate rules to implement and administer this act pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to MCL 24.328, including:
(a) procedures for issuing a state license pursuant to section 9 of this act and for renewing, suspending, and revoking a state license;
(b) a schedule of fees in amounts not more than necessary to pay for implementation, administration, and enforcement costs of this act and that relate to the size of each licensee or the volume of business conducted by the licensee;
(c) qualifications for licensure that are directly and demonstrably related to the operation of a marihuana establishment, provided that a prior conviction solely for a marihuana-related offense does not disqualify an individual or otherwise affect eligibility for licensure, unless the offense involved distribution of a controlled substance to a minor;
(d) requirements and standards for safe cultivation, processing, and distribution of marihuana by marihuana establishments, including health standards to ensure the safe preparation of marihuana-infused products and prohibitions on pesticides that are not safe for use on marihuana;
(e) testing, packaging, and labeling standards, procedures, and requirements for marihuana, including a maximum tetrahydrocannabinol level for marihuana-infused products, a requirement that a representative sample of marihuana be tested by a marihuana safety compliance facility, and a requirement that the amount of marihuana or marihuana concentrate contained within a marihuana-infused product be specified on the
product label;
(f) security requirements, including lighting, physical security, and alarm requirements, and requirements for securely transporting marihuana between marihuana establishments, provided that such requirements do not prohibit cultivation of marihuana outdoors or in greenhouses;
(g) record keeping requirements for marihuana establishments and monitoring requirements to track the transfer of marihuana by licensees;
(h) requirements for the operation of marihuana secure transporters to ensure that all marihuana establishments are properly serviced;
(i) reasonable restrictions on advertising, marketing, and display of marihuana and marihuana establishments;
(j) a plan to promote and encourage participation in the marihuana industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marihuana prohibition and enforcement and to positively impact those communities; and
(k) penalties for failure to comply with any rule promulgated pursuant to this section or for any violation of this act by a licensee, including civil fines and suspension, revocation, or restriction of a state license.

2. In furtherance of the intent of this act, the department may promulgate rules to:

(a) provide for the issuance of additional types or classes of state licenses to operate marihuana-related businesses, including licenses that authorize only limited cultivation, processing, transportation, delivery, storage, sale, or purchase of marihuana, licenses that authorize the consumption of marihuana within designated areas, licenses that authorize the consumption of marihuana at special events in limited areas and for a limited time, licenses that authorize cultivation for purposes of propagation, and licenses intended to facilitate scientific research or education; or
(b) regulate the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of industrial hemp.

3. The department may not promulgate a rule that:

(a) establishes a limit on the number of any type of state licenses that may be granted;
(b) requires a customer to provide a marihuana retailer with identifying information other than identification to determine the customer's age or requires the marihuana retailer to acquire or record personal information about customers other than information typically required in a retail transaction;
(c) prohibits a marihuana establishment from operating at a shared location of a marihuana facility operating pursuant to the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to 333.27801, or prohibits a marihuana grower, marihuana processor, or marihuana retailer from operating within a single facility; or
(d) is unreasonably impracticable.

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