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New Protections Under the Amended MMMA  

With the constantly changing and growing medical marijuana industry, it makes sense that the government would introduce new protections under the amended MMMA in order to keep up. These protections allow those who manufacture and/or use medical marijuana to do so without the fear of persecution. You may be wondering what these protections are and what rights they grant you, which is why you should get in touch with a knowledgeable medical marijuana lawyer who can answer your questions. Read on to learn more about new protections under the amended MMMA, as well as the ways an attorney could advocate for you.

Marijuana Infused Products

One of the new protections under the amended MMMA specifically addresses the manufacture and sale of marijuana-infused products. House Bill 4210 amended the prior Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to clarify and set forth new procedures for manufacturing, transferring, and possessing marijuana-infused products. Under the amended MMMA, qualifying patients who register with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs have the right to medical use of marijuana (so long as it is within the limits outlined in the Act) and manufacturing marijuana-infused products for their own use.

A registered primary caregiver has the right to possess and manufacture medical marijuana for their qualifying patients. Still, patients and caregivers are not allowed to do certain things when it comes to medical marijuana. Patients cannot transfer marijuana or marijuana products to other individuals, and caregivers cannot transfer marijuana or marijuana products to non-qualifying patients.

What Caregivers Can Do

Patients and caregivers also cannot possess or transfer marijuana-infused products in a motor vehicle unless a patient carries the marijuana-infused product in a sealed and labeled container in the trunk or in some other way so it is not readily accessible to the driver. The label should state the name of the manufacturer, date of manufacture, weight in ounces, name of the buyer, and date of receipt.

Also, a caregiver cannot carry marijuana-infused products in a motor vehicle unless they follow the instructions listed above. The label of the package should state the name and address of the manufacturer, name, and address of the destination, date of manufacture, weight in ounces, date/time of departure, estimated date/time of arrival, and date of receipt.

If a registered primary caregiver has a spouse, parent, or child who is a registered patient, they can transport or possess a marijuana-infused product in their vehicle in the same way as listed above. There is a $250 civil fine for patients and caregivers who do not follow these transportation rules.

Amount of Marijuana One Can Legally Possess

Both qualifying patients and registered primary caregivers are legally allowed to possess marijuana and marijuana-infused products. But, there is a limit to how much they can possess. Under the new protections under the amended MMMA, both parties can only possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.

The amended MMMA states that an individual cannot possess more than 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and usable marijuana equivalents. This further breaks down to 16 ounces of a marijuana-infused product in a solid form, seven grams of marijuana-infused product in a gaseous form, or 36 fluid ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form. In addition, incidental amounts of marijuana stalks, seeds, and roots are not included in the marijuana amount. These incidental elements are allowed under the amended MMMA.

Protection for Medical Marijuana Use

The new protections under the amended MMMA include specific provisions for protecting patients, primary caregivers, and physicians. If patients are following the amount allowed for legal possession of marijuana and comply with the other regulations outlined in this amended MMMA, they will be protected from state and local civil and criminal prosecution.

In addition, they will not have privileges taken away or face a sanction by a disciplinary board. The only way for patients to be prosecuted for marijuana-related offenses is if they do not follow the rules of the bills and they do not present their identification card or a government-issued photo identification card when prompted. The same rules and protection apply to registered primary caregivers.

If a primary caregiver or a patient has a registry identification card and an amount of marijuana in their possession that does not exceed the limit, it is presumed that they are engaged in the use of medical marijuana under this amended MMMA.

This presumption protects the patient or caregiver from arrest. But, evidence can prove that the patient or caregiver’s conduct was not in compliance with the amended MMMA. If this is the case, the patient or caregiver could face civil or criminal charges. Most of the time, patients and caregivers are not allowed to possess or transport marijuana or marijuana-infused products. However, there are some situations where this is possible.

Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act

Once the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act has been enacted, registered patients and caregivers have other rights. They cannot be arrested, prosecuted, or punished for purchasing or transferring an authorized amount of marijuana from a licensed provisioning center. They also cannot be prosecuted for selling or transferring marijuana seedlings or seeds to a licensed grower. Finally, they cannot be prosecuted for transferring marijuana to and from a licensed safety compliance facility.

Protections for Physicians

New protections under the amended MMMA also extend to physicians. While physicians cannot provide marijuana, they can prescribe it as part of a patient’s treatment. If a written certification for marijuana is the result of a full evaluation of the patient’s medical history, the physician cannot face certain penalties.

For example, the physician cannot face civil or criminal penalties. In addition, they cannot face sanctions from the Michigan board of medicine or the Michigan board of osteopathic medicine and surgery. They also cannot face sanctions from any other board or business.

If it is determined that the physician failed to evaluate the patient’s medical condition properly, or if they violated the standard of care in any way, they can be subject to sanctions from a professional licensing board.

Scope of Protection

While the amended MMMA allows patients and caregivers to do many things, there are certain things that are not permitted under the law. These restrictions are outlined in the amended MMMA. For example, even with a registry identification card, an individual cannot do something under the influence of marijuana if that task would be negligent. For example, this might include operating heavy machinery or going to work under the influence of marijuana.

In addition, patients and caregivers cannot possess marijuana on a school bus, on school grounds, or in a correctional facility. They also cannot smoke marijuana in a public location or on any form of public transportation. You also cannot operate a motor vehicle, aircraft, motorboat, off-road recreational vehicle, or snowmobile while under the influence of marijuana. You should not use marijuana unless you have a debilitating medical condition. Finally, you cannot separate marijuana plant resin by butane extraction in a public place, a motor vehicle, a residential building, or in a way that does not exercise care for the safety of others.

If you want to know more about the new protections under the amended MMMA and how it may affect you, get in touch with a qualified medical marijuana lawyer who can answer your questions today.