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After September 15, Can I Still be a Caregiver?

The Bureau of Medical marijuana Regulation is persevering on their position that all marijuana centers that are not licensed by the State under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, will need to close down, and will receive a cease and desist letter at that time. While the facilities are not mandated to close down, the State Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has made clear that any facility that continues to run after receipt of the cease and desist will most likely not be given a license. Additionally, the State has stated recommended Final Rules relating to Medical Marihuana Facilities licensing, which is going to permit or registered qualifying clients to get house deliveries from provisioning centers (with constraint, obviously) as well as will certainly additionally allow online purchasing. So, where does that leave registered caregivers, that were expecting to be able to remain relevant to their clients up until 2021?

Traditional Model

The old for registered caregivers was pretty straightforward. You were permitted to cultivate up to twelve plants for each client. You could have 5 patients, aside from yourself. If the caregiver was also a patient, they could likewise grow twelve plants for personal use also. So, a caregiver could grow an overall of seventy-two marihuana plants. Most caregivers created far more usable marihuana from those plants than they could utilize 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 actually not received a State license were permitted to continue running as well as buying from registered caregivers. Those centers were allowed to purchase caregiver excess for thirty days after receiving their State license for stock. That suggested considerable profits for caregivers as well as significant supply for dispensaries.

After September 15, 2018

The problems for registered caregivers only starts on September 15, 2018. All State licensed centers that will continue to be open and operating can not buy any kind of product from caregivers. State Licensed Provisioning Centers, but statute and administrative rules are strictly prohibited from acquiring or offering any kind of product that is not created by a State Licensed Cultivator or Processor that has had their item tested and certified by a State Licensed Safety Compliance Facility. Any State Licensed Provisioning Center that is found to have product available that is not from a State Licensed Grower or Processor is subject to State sanctions on their license, consisting of short-term or irreversible cancellation of the license. Given the threat, licensed facilities are very unlikely to run the risk of buying from a caregiver, provided the potential effects.

Better, the unlicensed centers to whom caregivers have been continuing to offer to, even throughout the licensing procedure, will be closing down. Some may continue to run, but given the State’s position on facilities that do not adhere to their cease and desist letters being looked at very unfavorably in the licensing process, the market will certainly be seriously reduced, if not eliminated. Consequently, caregivers will not have much choice for marketing their excess, and will be restricted only to their current patients.

New Administrative Rules

A hearing will be held on September 17, 2018 relating to the brand-new proposed final administrative rules for the regulation of medical marihuana facilities, which will become effective in November, when the emergency rules stop being effective. Those final suggested administrative rules allow for house delivery by a provisioning center, and will additionally allow regulated online ordering. Those 2 things remove much of the function contemplated by caregivers under the new policies. Patients would certainly still require them to head to the provisioning center to get and deliver cannabis to clients that were too sick or that were handicapped and could not reach those licensed centers to get their medicinal cannabis. With this modification to the administrative rules, such clients will no longer require a caregiver. They will have the ability to place an order online and have the provisioning facility deliver it to them, basically removing the requirement of a caregiver.

Final thought

For better or worse, the State is doing everything it can to remove caregivers under the brand-new administrative system, even before the intended elimination 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 market as soon as possible, and they are establishing rules to make sure that happens sooner rather than later. The caregiver model, while beneficial and needed under the old Michigan Medical Marihuana Act structure, are currently going the way of the Dodo. Like everything else, the Marihuana regulations are evolving, and some things that have flourished in the past, won’t make it to see the brand-new legalized era.