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Monday, July 30, 2018

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

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 are 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 2):

Sec. 9. 1. Each application for a state license must be submitted to the department. Upon receipt of a complete application and application fee, the department shall forward a copy of the application to the municipality in which the marihuana establishment is to be located, determine whether the applicant and the premises qualify for the state license and comply with this act, and issue the appropriate state license or send the applicant a notice of rejection setting forth specific reasons why the department did not approve the state license application within 90 days.

2. The department shall issue the following state license types: marihuana retailer; marihuana safety compliance facility; marihuana secure transporter; marihuana processor; marihuana microbusiness; class A marihuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 100 marihuana plants; class B marihuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 500 marihuana plants; and class C marihuana grower authorizing cultivation of not more than 2,000 marihuana plants.

3. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the department shall approve a state license application and issue a state license if:

(a) the applicant has submitted an application in compliance with the rules promulgated by the department, is in compliance with this act and the rules, and has paid the required fee;

(b) the municipality in which the proposed marihuana establishment will be located does not notify the department that the proposed marihuana establishment is not in compliance with an ordinance consistent with section 6 of this act and in effect at the time of application;

(c) the property where the proposed marihuana establishment is to be located is not within an area zoned exclusively for residential use and is not within 1,000 feet of a pre-existing public or private school providing education in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12, unless a municipality adopts an ordinance that reduces this distance requirement;

(d) no person who holds an ownership interest in the marihuana establishment applicant:

(1) will hold an ownership interest in both a marihuana safety compliance facility or in a marihuana secure transporter and in a marihuana grower, a marihuana processor, a marihuana retailer, or a marihuana microbusiness;

(2) will hold an ownership interest in both a marihuana microbusiness and in a marihuana grower, a marihuana processor, a marihuana retailer, a marihuana safety compliance facility, or a marihuana secure transporter; and

(3) will hold an ownership interest in more than 5 marihuana growers or in more than 1 marihuana microbusiness, except that the department may approve a license application from a person who holds an ownership interest in more than 5 marihuana growers or more than 1 marihuana microbusiness if, after January 1, 2023, the department promulgates a rule authorizing an individual to hold an ownership interest in more than 5 marihuana growers or in more than 1 marihuana microbusiness.

4. If a municipality limits the number of marihuana establishments that may be licensed in the municipality pursuant to section 6 of this act and that limit prevents the department from issuing a state license to all applicants who meet the requirements of subsection 3 of this section, the municipality shall decide among competing applications by a competitive process intended to select applicants who are best suited to operate in compliance with this act within the municipality.

5. All state licenses are effective for 1 year, unless the department issues the state license for a longer term. A state license is renewed upon receipt of a complete renewal application and a renewal fee from any marihuana establishment in good standing.

6. The department shall begin accepting applications for marihuana establishments within 12 months after the effective date of this act. Except as otherwise provided in this section, for 24 months after the department begins to receive applications for marihuana establishments, the department may only accept applications for licensure: for a class A marihuana grower or for a marihuana microbusiness, from persons who are residents of Michigan; for a marihuana retailer, marihuana processor, class B marihuana grower, class C marihuana grower, or a marihuana secure transporter, from persons holding a state operating license pursuant to the medical marihuana facilities licensing act, 2016 PA 281, MCL 333.27101 to 333.27801; and for a marihuana safety compliance facility, from any applicant. One year after the department begins to accept applications pursuant to this section, the department shall begin accepting applications from any applicant if the department determines that additional state licenses are necessary to minimize the illegal market for marihuana in this state, to efficiently meet the demand for marihuana, or to provide for reasonable access to marihuana in rural areas.

7. Information obtained from an applicant related to licensure under this act is exempt from disclosure under the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.

Sec. 10. 1. Notwithstanding any other law or provision of this act, and except as otherwise provided in section 4 of this act or the rules promulgated thereunder, the following acts 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 except as authorized by this act, and are not grounds to deny any other right or privilege:

(a) a marihuana grower or an agent acting on behalf of a marihuana grower who is 21 years of age or older, cultivating not more than the number of marihuana plants authorized by the state license class; possessing, packaging, storing, or testing marihuana; acquiring marihuana seeds or seedlings from a person who is 21 years of age or older; selling or otherwise transferring, purchasing or otherwise obtaining, or transporting marihuana to or from a marihuana establishment; or receiving compensation for goods or services;

(b) a marihuana processor or agent acting on behalf of a marihuana processor who is 21 years of age or older, possessing, processing, packaging, storing, or testing marihuana; selling or otherwise transferring, purchasing or otherwise obtaining, or transporting marihuana to or from a marihuana establishment; or receiving compensation for goods or services;

(c) a marihuana secure transporter or an agent acting on behalf of a marihuana secure transporter who is 21 years of age or older, possessing or storing marihuana; transporting marihuana to or from a marihuana establishment; or receiving compensation for services;

(d) a marihuana safety compliance facility or an agent acting on behalf of a marihuana safety compliance facility who is 21 years of age or older, testing, possessing, repackaging, or storing marihuana; transferring, obtaining, or transporting marihuana to or from a marihuana establishment; or receiving compensation for services;

(e) a marihuana retailer or an agent acting on behalf of a marihuana retailer who is 21 years of age or older, possessing, storing, or testing marihuana; selling or otherwise transferring, purchasing or otherwise obtaining, or transporting marihuana to or from a marihuana establishment; selling or otherwise transferring marihuana to a person 21 years of age or older; or receiving compensation for goods or services; or

(f) a marihuana microbusiness or an agent acting on behalf of a marihuana microbusiness who is 21 years of age or older, cultivating not more than 150 marihuana plants; possessing, processing, packaging, storing, or testing marihuana from marihuana plants cultivated on the premises; selling or otherwise transferring marihuana cultivated or processed on the premises to a person 21 years of age or older; or receiving compensation for goods or services.

(g) leasing or otherwise allowing the use of property owned, occupied, or managed for activities allowed under this act;

(h) enrolling or employing a person who engages in marihuana-related activities allowed under this act;

(i) possessing, cultivating, processing, obtaining, transferring, or transporting industrial hemp; or

(j) providing professional services to prospective or licensed marihuana establishments related to activity under this act.

2. A person acting as an agent of a marihuana retailer who sells or otherwise transfers marihuana or marihuana accessories to a person under 21 years of age is not subject to arrest, prosecution, forfeiture of property, disciplinary action by a professional licensing board, denial of any right or privilege, or penalty in any manner, if the person reasonably verified that the recipient appeared to be 21 years of age or older by means of governmentissued photographic identification containing a date of birth, and the person complied with any rules promulgated pursuant to this act.

3. It is the public policy of this state that contracts related to the operation of marihuana establishments be enforceable.

Sec. 11. (a) A marihuana establishment may not allow cultivation, processing, sale, or display of marihuana or marihuana accessories to be visible from a public place outside of the marihuana establishment without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids.

(b) A marihuana establishment may not cultivate, process, test, or store marihuana at any location other than a physical address approved by the department and within an enclosed area that is secured in a manner that prevents access by persons not permitted by the marihuana establishment to access the area.

(c) A marihuana establishment shall secure every entrance to the establishment so that access to areas containing marihuana is restricted to employees and other persons permitted by the marihuana establishment to access the area and to agents of the department or state and local law enforcement officers and emergency personnel and shall secure its inventory and equipment during and after operating hours to deter and prevent theft of marihuana and marihuana accessories.

(d) No marihuana establishment may refuse representatives of the department the right during the hours of operation to inspect the licensed premises or to audit the books and records of the marihuana establishment.

(e) No marihuana establishment may allow a person under 21 years of age to volunteer or work for the marihuana establishment.

(f) No marihuana establishment may sell or otherwise transfer marihuana that was not produced, distributed, and taxed in compliance with this act.

(g) A marihuana grower, marihuana retailer, marihuana processor, marihuana microbusiness, or marihuana testing facility or agents acting on their behalf may not transport more than 15 ounces of marihuana or more than 60 grams of marihuana concentrate at one time.

(h) A marihuana secure transporter may not hold title to marihuana.

(i) No marihuana processor may process and no marihuana retailer may sell edible marihuana-infused candy in shapes or packages that are attractive to children or that are easily confused with commercially sold candy that does not contain marihuana.

(j) No marihuana retailer may sell or otherwise transfer marihuana that is not contained in an opaque, resealable, child-resistant package designed to be significantly difficult for children under 5 years of age to open and not difficult for normal adults to use properly as defined by 16 C.F.R. 1700.20 (1995), unless the marihuana is transferred for consumption on the premises where sold.

(k) No marihuana establishment may sell or otherwise transfer tobacco.

Sec. 12. In computing net income for marihuana establishments, deductions from state taxes are allowed for all the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying out a trade or business.

Sec. 13. 1. In addition to all other taxes, an excise tax is imposed on each marihuana retailer and on each marihuana microbusiness at the rate of 10% of the sales price for marihuana sold or otherwise transferred to anyone other than a marihuana establishment.

2. Except as otherwise provided by a rule promulgated by the department of treasury, a product subject to the tax imposed by this section may not be bundled in a single transaction with a product or service that is not subject to the tax imposed by this section.

3. The department of treasury shall administer the taxes imposed under this act and may promulgate rules pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to MCL 24.328 that prescribe a method and manner for payment of the tax to ensure proper tax collection under this act.

Sec. 14. 1. The marihuana regulation fund is created in the state treasury. The department of treasury shall deposit all money collected under section 13 of this act and the department shall deposit all fees collected in the fund. The state treasurer shall direct the investment of the fund and shall credit the fund interest and earnings from fund investments. The department shall administer the fund for auditing purposes. Money in the fund shall not lapse to the general fund.

2. Funds for the initial activities of the department to implement this act shall be appropriated from the general fund. The department shall repay any amount appropriated under this subsection from proceeds in the fund.

3. The department shall expend money in the fund first for the implementation, administration, and enforcement of this act, and second, until 2022 or for at least two years, to provide $20 million annually to one or more clinical trials that are approved by the United States food and drug administration and sponsored by a non-profit organization or researcher within an academic institution researching the efficacy of marihuana in treating the medical conditions of United States armed services veterans and preventing veteran suicide. Upon appropriation, unexpended balances must be allocated as follows:

(a) 15% to municipalities in which a marihuana retail store or a marihuana microbusiness is located, allocated in proportion to the number of marihuana retail stores and marihuana microbusinesses within the municipality;

(b) 15% to counties in which a marihuana retail store or a marihuana microbusiness is located, allocated in proportion to the number of marihuana retail stores and marihuana microbusinesses within the county;

(c) 35% to the school aid fund to be used for K-12 education; and

(d) 35% to the Michigan transportation fund to be used for the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges.

Sec. 15. A person who commits any of the following acts, and is not otherwise authorized by this act to conduct such activities, may be punished only as provided in this section and is not subject to any other form of punishment or disqualification, unless the person consents to another disposition authorized by law:

1. Except for a person who engaged in conduct described in sections 4(1)(a), 4(1)(b), 4(1)(c), 4(1)(d), 4(1)(g), or 4(1)(h), a person who possesses not more than the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, cultivates not more than the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, delivers without receiving any remuneration to a person who is at least 21 years of age not more than the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, or possesses with intent to deliver not more than the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished by a fine of not more than $100 and forfeiture of the marihuana.

2. Except for a person who engaged in conduct described in section 4, a person who possesses not more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, cultivates not more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, delivers without receiving any remuneration to a person who is at least 21 years of age not more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, or possesses with intent to deliver not more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5:

(a) for a first violation, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished by a fine of not more than $500 and forfeiture of the marihuana;

(b) for a second violation, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 and forfeiture of the marihuana;

(c) for a third or subsequent violation, is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 and forfeiture of the marihuana.

3. Except for a person who engaged in conduct described by section 4(1)(a), 4(1)(d), or 4(1)(g), a person under 21 years of age who possesses not more than 2.5 ounces of marihuana or who cultivates not more than 12 marihuana plants:

(a) for a first violation, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished as follows:

(1) if the person is less than 18 years of age, by a fine of not more than $100 or community service, forfeiture of the marihuana, and completion of 4 hours of drug education or counseling; or

(2) if the person is at least 18 years of age, by a fine of not more than $100 and forfeiture of the marihuana.

(b) for a second violation, is responsible for a civil infraction and may be punished as follows:

(1) if the person is less than 18 years of age, by a fine of not more than $500 or community service,
forfeiture of the marihuana, and completion of 8 hours of drug education or counseling; or

(2) if the person is at least 18 years of age, by a fine of not more than $500 and forfeiture of the marihuana.

4. Except for a person who engaged in conduct described in section 4, a person who possesses more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, cultivates more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, or delivers without receiving any remuneration to a person who is at least 21 years of age more than twice the amount of marihuana allowed by section 5, shall be responsible for a misdemeanor, but shall not be subject to imprisonment unless the violation was habitual, willful, and for a commercial purpose or the violation involved violence.

Sec. 16. 1. If the department does not timely promulgate rules as required by section 8 of this act or accept or process applications in accordance with section 9 of this act, beginning one year after the effective date of this act, an applicant may submit an application for a marihuana establishment directly to the municipality where the marihuana establishment will be located.

2. If a marihuana establishment submits an application to a municipality under this section, the municipality shall issue a municipal license to the applicant within 90 days after receipt of the application unless the municipality finds and notifies the applicant that the applicant is not in compliance with an ordinance or rule adopted pursuant to this act.

3. If a municipality issues a municipal license pursuant to this section:

(a) the municipality shall notify the department that the municipal license has been issued;

(b) the municipal license has the same force and effect as a state license; and

(c) the holder of the municipal license is not subject to regulation or enforcement by the department during the municipal license term.

Sec. 17. This act shall be broadly construed to accomplish its intent as stated in section 2 of this act. Nothing in this act purports to supersede any applicable federal law, except where allowed by federal law. All provisions of this act are self-executing. Any section of this act that is found invalid as to any person or circumstances shall not affect the application of any other section of this act that can be given full effect without the invalid section or application.


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