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Overview of the Michigan Marijuana Tracking Act 

With the constantly changing marijuana industry, there are many different amendments and acts being passed. These new laws allow the industry to further its growth by extending protections and regulations that help both the growers and consumers of medical marijuana. Staying informed about these changes is important. Read this overview of the Michigan Marijuana Tracking Act to be proactive in educating yourself. If you are a medical marijuana business owner, you should also consider retaining a skilled medical marijuana attorney that can work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are being protected.

What is Statewide Monitoring and Why Is It Important?

As an overview of the Michigan marijuana tracking act, the phrase statewide monitoring system means an Internet-based, statewide database established, implemented, and maintained directly or indirectly by LARA that is available to medical marijuana licensees, law enforcement agencies, and authorized state departments and agencies on a 24-hour basis.

The system is used for many specific purposes, including verifying registry identification cards, tracking marijuana transfer and transportation by licensees.  In this regard, the system will track transferee’s name, the date of transfer, the quantity, and price. As part of the effort to prevent diversion and to ensure compliance with other aspects of the MMMA, the system will also be used to verify that a medical marijuana transfer will not exceed the limit that the registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver is authorized to receive by law.

Function of the Marijuana Tracking Act

The Marijuana Tracking Act (MTA) allows LARA to establish a statewide cloud-based internet medical marijuana monitoring system. This system must use integrated tracking, inventory, and verification. There are many reasons why a tracking system is necessary, and first among them is that medical marijuana, like all marijuana, remains as a schedule one drug at both the state and federal levels. Medical marijuana is also kind of like a prescription drug, and all scheduled prescription drugs are tracked at both the Federal and State levels. For example, Michigan’s prescription monitoring program, formerly called MAPS, was used to track controlled substances.

On April 4th, 2017, the State of Michigan replaced the MAPS platform with PMP AWARxE. According to the provider’s website, PMP AWARxE, provides access to mandatory pharmacy reporting and offers secure access to data across state lines. The prescription drug monitoring system is what Michigan’s lawmakers had in mind when they drafted this part of the legislation.  Other medical marijuana states also have seed to sale tracking systems.

Role of LARA

As indicated, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is required by the Marijuana Tracking Act to establish a cloud-based internet software system capable of effective monitoring of marihuana seed-to-sale transfers. An overview of the Michigan Marijuana Tracking Act means learning about a system that will be used to track, take inventory of, and verify marijuana. The system must be capable of storing and providing access to information that allows verification by a medical marijuana licensee that a patient or caregiver’s registry identification card is current and valid and has not been suspended, revoked, or denied.

Because of the need to ensure card-holder confidentiality, LARA is required to ensure that the software is capable of instituting procedures to ensure that preclude the disclosure or use the information in the system for any use or purpose except for the enforcement, oversight, and implementation of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act or the medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act.

Bids for the Tracking System

It is LARA’s job to seek bids for the statewide tracking and monitoring system. LARA must evaluate bids in terms of both the cost of the service and the service’s ability to meet the requirements of MMMA, the Licensing Act, and the Marijuana Tracking Act. LARA also must consider the bidder’s ability to prevent abuse, fraud, and other relevant issues that might arise when it comes to enforcing these acts. The bidder must also not use the information in the system for purposes other than the oversight, implementation, and enforcement of the acts it applies to.

Tracking System Contracts

When LARA determines the appropriate system, the awardee must deliver the system within 180 days of the contract. A contract can be terminated if the awardee violates the Marijuana Tracking Act. If this happens, the awardee could be barred from other contracts with the State. The information within the tracking system must be confidential. It also has to be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Information in the tracking system can only be disclosed to enforce the MMMA, the Marijuana Tracking Act, or the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act.

Overview of the Michigan Marijuana Tracking Act

This tracking system must have the ability to interface with other, third-party systems. The description of these other tracking and inventory systems is defined in the Licensing Act. The system also must keep a record of quantity, date, time and price of each transfer or sale of marijuana to a qualified patient or a caregiver, and verify that a sale or transfer will not exceed the limit established by MMMA.

The Value of a Professional Defense Lawyer

Although this overview of the Michigan Marijuana Tracking Act might be helpful, it is no substitute for the legal guidance of a qualified attorney. Working with a lawyer allows you to get the very important face time that you need, in order to ask specific questions that are relevant to your business. If you want to know more about the Marijuana Tracking Act and how it may impact you, contact a skilled legal advocate that can answer any questions you may have and can also work tirelessly to protect your rights.