An ongoing debate between medical marijuana caregivers and large commercial marijuana producers in Michigan over the role and rights of caregivers is now the subject of legislation introduced September 14 by Michigan legislators.
Introduced as the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act, and reflected in Michigan House Bills 5300-5302, the legislation would limit the amount of marijuana that caregivers could grow and distribute.
- The legislation would reduce the number of patients allowed per caregiver from five to one, beginning March 21, 2022. This would limit the amount of plants a caregiver could grow at one time from 60 to 12 plants, with an additional 12 plants allowed for personal use.
- The amount of harvested marijuana that a caregiver could keep on hand would be reduced from 15 ounces to 5 ounces.
- Caregivers would have to register for a Specialty Medical Grower license, pursuant to which growers would be required to pay $500 application fees and have marijuana undergo safety testing.
- Marijuana plants would also have to be grown in an indoor, secure facility.
As we addressed in a recent post, proponents of the bill argue that having unlicensed caregivers leads to public health and safety risks, and contributes greatly to billions in black market sales of marijuana in Michigan.
Activists who oppose the new licensing proposal argue that the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act would make Michigan marijuana users more dependent on large cannabis companies, which in turn would result in higher prices. Around 100 people rallied in support of individual caregivers at the State Capitol on September 15, a day after the new legislation was introduced.
We will continue to keep you apprised of further developments in this debate. In the meantime, if you have any questions or require assistance, please contact Paul Mallon or your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.