Michigan Dispensary Laws

The fact was realized in Michigan that marijuana is an essential element in the treatment of many chronic diseases and illnesses; so it’s legal cultivation and distribution was taken into consideration.   On November 4th 2008, through a referendum it was decided to allow qualified patients to legally possess, cultivate and use medical marijuana. The related law was passed on December 4th 2008 and was named as “Michigan Medical Marijuana Act”.

The said, the  act has a principal defect that it doesn’t specifically deal with matters relating to marijuana dispensaries.  The law confirms that specific patients can possess, grow and use medical marijuana but doesn’t layout any system about how to acquire medical marijuana, seeds or plants- where as the laws of other states do address this issue.

The limitations of this act can be pointed out as:

  • It doesn’t specify say how marijuana can be obtained for medical purposes.
  • It doesn’t specify say how marijuana can be dispensed.

This program is supervised by the Michigan department of health. The MDCH issues identification cards for the patients or their registered caregivers who are legally permitted to grow marijuana for patients.  This program doesn’t allow doctors to prescribe marijuana as a medicine.  The doctors can only certify that the mentioned person suffers from the illness that needs to be treated by the marijuana.  The Act actually lays out a system  in which specific patients or their registered caregivers use of medical marijuana are allowed a limited quantity only for personal use and in a locked facility.

The Michigan Dispensary Laws seem to be very much like California’s were several years ago until SB420 was passed. SB420 realized the formation of collectives that could dispense medication within a closed circuit model- meaning that medicine could only be acquired and dispensed to members of the collective.

The MMMA provides for a system of designated caregivers. The caregiver can acquire 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for a qualifying patient. The caregiver may assist up to 5 patients. The caregiver must sign a statement agreeing to provide marijuana only to the qualifying patients who have named the individual as their caregiver.

The caregiver’s name, address, birth date and social security number must be provided to the state at the time of a patient’s registration. The Department will issue a registry identification card to the caregiver who is named by a qualifying patient on his/her application. The Department may not issue a registry identification card to a proposed caregiver who has previously been convicted of a felony drug offense. The Department will verify through a background check with the Michigan State Police that the designated caregiver has no disqualifying felony drug conviction. A caregiver may receive reasonable compensation for services provided to assist with a qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana.



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