On January 26, 2018, Governor Snyder signed into law Public Act 10 of 2018, which amends the Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”) for the better. The MMFLA authorizes commercial enterprise of medical marijuana in Michigan that builds off 2008’s voter-enacted ballot initiative that became the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. PA 10 of 2018 was introduced into the Michigan House of Representatives by Klint Kesto (R-Commerce Township) as HB5144. After several hearings, the law passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support in both houses of the Michigan legislature.
This amendment to the MMFLA clears up a number of issues that members of the burgeoning medical marijuana industry in Michigan have been requesting legislative guidance on to clean up some unintended inefficiencies in the MMFLA. Here’s some highlights of the changes:
- Permits Growers to sell marijuana and immature marijuana plants, seeds, and tissue cultures to other Growers, which will expand innovation and creativity in the industry in developing strains that are more effective at treating certain conditions
- Permits Growers to receive immature marijuana plants, seeds, and tissue cultures from caregivers.
- Permits Processors to sell marijuana-infused products to other Processors, which will provide Processors with the option of specializing into different forms of production. For example, one Processor may decide to focus solely on creating marijuana-infused cooking oils or butters that can then be sold in bulk to a Processor that focuses solely on creating edible marijuana-infused products.
- Permits Safety Compliance Facilities to retrieve samples for testing directly from marihuana facilities without use of a secured transporter.
- Provides protections for Certified Public Accountants who are assisting medical marihuana facilities from civil, criminal, or licensing penalties.
- Provides protections for financial institutions, such as banks or credit unions, who offer financial services to medical marihuana facilities from any civil, criminal, or licensing penalties.
- Permits the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to set daily and monthly purchasing limits for medical marihuana patients and caregivers.
- Permits transfers between Growers, Processors, and Provisioning Centers without the use of a Secured Transporter so long as the facilities occupy the same location and the transfer can be completed using only private property without accessing public roadways.
The legislature and Governor Snyder should be commended for being responsive to the concerns raised by the industry and creating bipartisan, common sense solutions. Most of the changes in PA 10 of 2018 are corrections of inadvertent inefficiencies that existed in the MMFLA. For example, many cannabusiness entrepreneurs are seeking both Grower and Processor licenses to operate in one building, with one area dedicated to cultivation and another area dedicated to processing. Prior to this amendment, the MMFLA required these entrepreneurs to hire a secured transporter to move the product from one end of the building to the other. This type of inefficiency would have increased costs of getting products to market, which would have been passed on to patients and caregivers. Thankfully, this inefficiency and others have been corrected.
If you are interested in learning more about Michigan’s medical marijuana laws or are interested in applying for a license to operate a medical marijuana facility contact Grewal Law PLLC.
An associate attorney with Grewal Law PLLC in Okemos, Michigan, John Fraser focuses on general litigation, criminal defense, cannabis law, and appellate law. John is also an adjunct professor of law at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School where he teaches a course on Medical Marijuana and the Law.