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Summary of New State Medical Marijuana Legislation

Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2016

Michigan’s new medical marijuana legislation, which was passed by the state House in September, is set to go into effect this month. The new legislation, which some have referred to as “landmark,” is intended to bring needed clarity to the State's 2008 voter-approved Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.*  While the number of registered users in the state’s medical marijuana program grew to as many as 210,000 residents at one point, dispensaries had yet to be legalized or regulated. 

Specifically, three House Bills (4209, 4210, and 4827) were recently signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder and take effect December 20, 2016.** Highlights of the bills are summarized as follows:

House Bill 4209 (now Public Act 281) enacts the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, which establishes the licensure process within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), regulates the growth, processing, transport, and provisioning of medical marijuana. Additionally, House Bill 4209 accomplishes the following:

  • Creates the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board within LARA to implement the Act, including the licensing process, and give the board jurisdiction over the operation of all marijuana facilities.
  • Requires applicants to pay an application fee.
  • Requires licensees to pay an annual regulatory assessment, which will be deposited in a new Marihuana Regulatory Fund; monies will be used for implementing, administering, and enforcing the Act.
  • Requires provisioning centers to pay a tax on their retail gross income, which will be deposited into a new Medical Marihuana Excise Fund; distribution will include municipalities and counties where marijuana facilities are located.
  • Authorizes the board to impose license sanctions and civil fines for violations of the Act or rules.
  • Exempts licensees from marijuana-related criminal or civil prosecution, penalties, and other sanctions for performing activities within the scope of their license.
  • Provides that a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver will not be subject to criminal prosecution or sanctions for purchasing marijuana from a provisioning center.
  • Requires licensees to adopt and use a third-party inventory control and tracking system.

House Bill 4210 (now Public Act 282) amends the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) to:

  • Permit the manufacture and use of marijuana-infused products by qualified patients.
  • Prevent a person from being penalized for manufacturing a marijuana-infused product if the person is a qualified registered patient or a registered primary caregiver.
  • Prohibit a patient from transferring a marijuana-infused product or marijuana to another individual.
  • Prohibit a caregiver from transferring a marijuana-infused product to someone other than a qualifying patient of the caregiver.
  • Extend criminal and civil immunity to a person for the transfer, purchase, or sale of marijuana pursuant to the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.
  • Appropriate $8.5 million to LARA for its initial costs of implementing the Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act and the Marihuana Tracking Act.

House Bill 4827 (now Public Act 283), enacts the Marihuana Tracking Act to:

  • Require LARA to establish a statewide internet-based monitoring system for integrated tracking, inventory, and verification.
  • Allow LARA to terminate the contract for a violation of the Act.
  • Provide for the confidentiality of information in the system.

You can find an additional overview of this subject in the December 2016 issue of the Risk Journal. Please contact MMRMA if you have questions about how Michigan’s medical marijuana laws might affect your municipality.


* While Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act, MCL 333.26421 et seq., and related legislation and agencies use the spelling “marihuana,” this article uses the more common spelling “marijuana” except when citing the Acts and related agencies by name.

** Senate Bills 141 and 1014 were also proffered. They relate to enforcement and penalties for violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. These bills passed the Senate in September and have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 141 would make it a felony to sell medical marijuana in violation of state registry identification card rules, and Senate Bill 1014 would exclude rules made under the state’s medical marijuana statute from Michigan’s Administrative Procedures Act.

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Michigan Municipal Risk
Management Authority

14001 Merriman Road
Livonia, MI 48154

MMRMA has been a leader in municipal risk since 1980 and remains committed to meeting the ever-expanding challenges faced by its membership. MMRMA's risk control services are designed to help its members identify, prevent, and mitigate losses through on-site surveys, training, and other services. MMRMA also provides its members with premier claims and legal services, sound financial management, and essential news on the latest developments in public risk management.


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