In 2008, the state of Michigan passed legislation to legalize medical marijuana. The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act allows patients with debilitating conditions to use, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, and transfer marijuana.
Ever since the act was passed, there has been a great deal of confusion among Michiganders regarding the specifics of the law. Since the team at White Law PLLC strives to provide information to help the public make smart and law-abiding decisions, we’ve decided to clear the air on Michigan’s medical marijuana laws.
Patients Who Qualify for Medical Marijuana Use
Medical marijuana use has a number of benefits that can provide relief to those suffering from serious illnesses and disorders. To apply for a medical marijuana license, you must be diagnosed with one of the following qualifying conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV or AIDs
- Hepatitis C
- Nail-patella syndrome
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms
According to the medical marijuana laws in Michigan, qualifying patients may possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana. Patients without caregivers are also permitted to cultivate as many as 12 marijuana plants at a time, so long as they’re stored in a locked room.
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How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana License in Michigan
Michigan law requires you to have a record of a qualifying diagnosis from a licensed physician to apply for a medical marijuana license. In addition to your physician certification form, the application requires you to provide proof of Michigan residency and a $40 fee.
If you are designating a caregiver along with your application, you’ll need to provide a copy of your caregiver’s driver’s license or personal identification card. Active patients who are looking to renew their license and keep their current caregiver must apply by mail.
The Michigan Department of Community Health is responsible for issuing registry identification cards to qualifying patients and caregivers. The validity period for the card is one year from the date of issuance. Licensed patients and caregivers must carry their identification cards to notify police officers that they are authorized to use medical marijuana.
Understanding the Role of a Medical Marijuana Caregiver
In Michigan, medical marijuana patients who are under the age of 21 or have impairments that prevent them from growing marijuana are eligible to work with a caregiver. A caregiver is an individual who cultivates marijuana and provides it to their patient(s).
Caregivers must be 21 years or older and have a clean record with no drug-related felony convictions within the last decade or any violent felony convictions. They must also be registered with the state and may only work with a maximum of five patients at a time. Patients are prohibited from working with more than one caregiver.
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Cultivating Medical Marijuana in Michigan
Michigan has strict laws regarding the home cultivation of medical marijuana. As mentioned above, patients and caregivers are allowed to possess up to 12 marijuana plants. Those plants must be stored in an enclosed and locked area that is only accessible by the patient or caregiver.
Outdoor marijuana plants must be kept in an immobile structure that is enclosed on all sides. The enclosure must be constructed with chain-link fencing or similar material that restricts access from individuals other than the caregiver or patient.
The outdoor structure must be built in a way that prevents passersby and individuals in neighboring structures from seeing the plants inside. Lastly, the outdoor enclosure or indoor cultivation area must be located on property that is owned, elapsed, or rented by the registered cultivator.
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Purchasing Medical Marijuana From a Dispensary
Patients with qualifying conditions aren’t limited to accessing marijuana through a caregiver or their own home cultivation. In fact, state law allows medical patients and recreational users to purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries.
To legally purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary in Michigan, patients must show their medical marijuana identification card and a legal document proving they are over the age of 18. Patients are permitted to purchase 2.5 ounces of marijuana per transaction. The law prohibits patients from purchasing more than 10 ounces in a month.
How to Deal With Marijuana Charges
Michigan has very specific and strict laws regarding the possession, cultivation, and purchase of medical marijuana. Educating yourself on the nuances of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act can help you stay compliant with state law.
If you’ve been charged with an offense related to the possession or cultivation of marijuana, you could be facing exorbitant fines and even a misdemeanor conviction. To keep your record clean and your finances in check, consider reaching out to a criminal defense attorney.
A criminal defense lawyer can advise you on your rights and help you determine what your best course of action is after a marijuana-related charge. They’ll represent you in court and fight to get your charges reduced or expunged.
Contact an Attorney From White Law PLLC
At White Law PLLC, we understand how complicated and unforgiving Michigan’s medical marijuana laws can be. That’s why our drug charge lawyers specialize in helping licensed medical marijuana patients defend themselves against marijuana-related charges.
Our attorneys have over six decades of combined experience managing court cases and representing clients’ best interests. They’ll use their immense legal knowledge and courtroom experience to secure a favorable outcome and keep your record spotless. Contact us to request a free consultation today to learn more about your rights.
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