After September 15, Can I Still be a Caregiver?
The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation is persevering on their position that all cannabis facilities that are not licensed by the State under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, will need to close down, and will get a cease and desist letter at that time. While the facilities are not mandated to shut down, the State Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has explained that any center that continues to run after receipt of the cease and desist will likely not be given a license. Additionally, the State has stated recommended Final Rules relating to Medical Marihuana Facilities licensing, which is going to enable or registered qualifying patients to get home shipments from provisioning centers (with limitation, of course) and also will likewise allow online buying. So, where does that leave registered caregivers, who were expecting to be able to remain relevant to their clients till 2021?
The old model for registered caregivers was pretty simple. You were permitted to grow up to twelve plants for each client. You could have five patients, besides yourself. If the caregiver was also a patient, they could likewise grow twelve plants for personal usage too. So, a caregiver could cultivate a total of seventy-two marihuana plants. The majority of caregivers generated far more usable marihuana from those plants than they could make use of for clients and personal usage. The caregivers would then sell their excess product to medical marihuana dispensaries.
Under the emergency rules, marihuana dispensaries that were operating with municipal authorization, but that had not obtained a State license were permitted to continue operating as well as purchasing from registered caregivers. Those centers were permitted to get caregiver overages for thirty days after receiving their State license for stock. That suggested considerable profits for caregivers as well as considerable supply for dispensaries.
After September 15, 2018
The problems for registered caregivers only begins on September 15, 2018. All State licensed centers that will continue to be open and operating can not buy any type of product from caregivers. State Licensed Provisioning Centers, but statute and administrative rules are strictly forbidden from getting or selling any kind of item that is not created by a State Licensed Grower or Processor that has actually had their product tested and certified by a State Licensed Safety Compliance Facility. Any State Licensed Provisioning Center that is found to have product up for sale that is not from a State Licensed Cultivator or Processor is subject to State sanctions on their license, consisting of short-term or permanent abrogation of the license. Given the risk, licensed facilities are extremely unlikely to run the risk of purchasing from a caregiver, given the potential consequences.
Even more, the unlicensed facilities to whom caregivers have been continuing to offer to, even throughout the licensing procedure, will be closing down. Some might continue to operate, but given the State’s position on centers that do not adhere to their cease and desist letters being looked at very adversely in the licensing process, the market will be severely lessened, if not eliminated. Because of this, caregivers will certainly not have much choice for selling their overages, and will be restricted only to their current clients.
New Administrative Rules
A hearing will be held on September 17, 2018 regarding the brand-new recommended final administrative rules for the regulation of medical marihuana facilities, which will become effective in November, when the emergency rules discontinue being effective. Those final proposed administrative rules permit house delivery by a provisioning center, and will additionally allow regulated online buying. Those 2 things eliminate much of the function contemplated by caregivers under the new regulations. Clients would certainly still require them to head to the provisioning facility to pick up and deliver marijuana to clients that were too ill or who were disabled and can not get to those licensed facilities to acquire their medicinal marijuana. With this change to the administrative rules, such clients will no longer need a caregiver. They will be able to place an order online and have the provisioning center deliver it to them, essentially eliminating the necessity of a caregiver.
For better or worse, the State is doing everything it can to get rid of caregivers under the new administrative system, even before the prepared removal in 2021 contemplated by the MMFLA. There are a great deal of factors the State could be doing it, but that is of little comfort to caregivers. The bottom line is, the State is doing away with the caregiver model, and they are moving that process along with celerity. The State is sending the message that they want caregivers out of the industry immediately, and they are developing regulations to ensure that takes place sooner rather than later. The caregiver model, while valuable and necessary under the old Michigan Medical Marihuana Act structure, are currently going the way of the Dodo. Like everything else, the Marihuana laws are evolving, and some things that have thrived in the past, will not make it to see the brand-new legalized era.