Recently the Michigan Supreme Court decided People v. McQueen, 439 Mich 135; 828 NW2d 644 (2013). This case impacts the ability of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to operate in the State of Michigan.
 
Specifically the Court looked into whether the Defendant’s business, a Medical Marijuana Dispensary that facilitated patient to patient sales of marijuana, operated in accordance with the provisions of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MCL §333.26421 et. seq.). The Court determined that it did not, and the Defendant’s business be ordered to stop because it was a public nuisance.
 
In reaching this conclusion, the Court found that the broad immunity granted to registered medical marijuana patients / cardholders in MCL §333.26424 does not extend to registered qualifying patients who transfer marijuana to another registered qualifying patient for the transferee’s use because the transferor in those situations was not engaged in conduct related to marijuana for the purpose of relieving the transferor’s own condition or symptoms. The Court further found that immunity under MCL §333.26424 does not extend to a registered primary caregiver who transfers marijuana for any purpose other than to alleviate the condition or symptoms of a specific patient who he / she is connected through the Michigan Department of Community Health’s registration process.
 
The practical effect of this case is that registered medical marijuana patients / caregivers can no longer utilize dispensaries for the sale / transfer of medical marijuana in the State of Michigan. Further, a “primary caregiver” as defined by the MCL §333.26421 et. seq. may only “transfer” medical marijuana to those he / she is connected with through the Michigan Department of Community Health registration process. In other words, patient to patient transfers, through a dispensary or otherwise, are now prohibited unless previously approved by the Michigan Department of Community Health’s registration process.
 
Please remember that in addition to criminal sanctions, if convicted of a drug crime in the State of Michigan, there will be sanctions against your driver’s license by the Secretary of State once the Court system notifies them of the conviction.
 
If you, a family member, or a friend are facing controlled substance charges related to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
 
Michael D. Hills

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