One of the most important aspects of running a marijuana business is ensuring you comply with the law. If you fall short and don’t correct with all the relevant laws that apply to your business, you’ll find yourself in trouble and dealing with things that you don’t really want to be dealing with. That’s why it’s so important to stay up to date with the various new laws and amendments to laws that are coming into effect.
We’re going to talk about the most recent changes to the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, the Marihuana Tracking Act and other related amendments. That way, you can know for sure whether or not your business is fully compliant with these laws and make changes if necessary going forward.
2018 PA 582 Amendment to the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA)
Act No. 582 came into effect on January 1, 2019. The first change made under this amendment to the MMFLA is a change to the definition of “applicant’ as it relates to the application for purposes of eligibility for a state marijuana operating license. An applicant is simply someone who applies for that license and includes managerial employees of the applicant or a person who owns 10% or more interest in the application.
The next part of the amendment adds criminal penalties for anyone found to be operating a medical marijuana facility on an illegal basis. This is obviously an important factor for anyone who wants to run a medical marijuana facility. It proves the importance of following the law and running your facility in the correct way. You will face criminal prosecution if there are any illegal activities being carried out or if the facility is not set up in the correct legal manner.
Also included in this amendment are changes to the transfer, sale or conveyance of a license provision of the law. It then repeals the true party of interest section previously included in the law. And finally, it makes changes to the access to the statewide monitoring system for commercial transactions. It means that licensees will now be able to use and adopt a third-party control and tracking system that is able to interface with the monitoring system managed by the statewide authorities.
They can enter information into the tracking system, as well as view it when they need to. To do all this, the licensee needs to be able to track all marijuana plants, products and other items, as well as transfers, sales and returns. Tracking and batch information needs to be done throughout the entire supply chain. Any plants, products or batched that are destroyed or recalled must be tracked as well.
2018 PA 648 Amendment to the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA)
This amendment to the MMFLA is about allowing certain marijuana licensees the right to handle, process and test industrial hemp. It becomes effective on March 28, 2019. The main thrust of the amendment is to license and therefore regulate medical marijuana growers, processors, transporters, compliance facilities and provisioning centers. This right protects them and clarifies their legal right to handle and process industrial hemp.
There are some licensing and regulatory changes that are included in the amendment as well. For example, it references the creation of a “medical marihuana licensing board” that can interact with a statewide monitoring system that will apply to all commercial transactions of the drug. As well as that, it makes clear that people complying with the act and carrying out activities mentioned in it will be immune from prosecution.
2018 PA 439 Amendment to Marihuana Tracking Act (MTA)
This amendment to the MTA, coming into effect on March 21, 2019, is about ensuring the safety of marijuana products that are being sold to buyers. It allows applicants to authorize the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation to release records to a financial institution. It’s also about the way in which commercial marijuana products are tracked in the trade process. Commercial traffic has to comply with state rules on commercial trafficking of marijuana. People trading in marijuana have to submit their information to the system as part of all this.
One of the aims of the law change is to make it easier for authorities to identify threats that might be carried by particular batches of marijuana, whether for medical or recreational use. It means that problem batches that do represent a threat to public health can be cut out more quickly and dealt with in the proper way before anyone is harmed.
2018 PA 584 Amendment to the State Personal Card Act and 2018 PA 504 Amendment to Motor Vehicle Code
These amendments apply to the transportation and trafficking of commercial marijuana. Act No. 584 came into effect on December 28, 2018 and Act No. 504 comes into effect on March 27, 2019. People who are drivers of vehicles used in the trafficking of commercial marijuana now have to provide an official personal identification card to verify their ID. The amendment specifically makes it possible for the Secretary of State to forward a digital photo of a driver’s license to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). This photo can then be used on an applicant’s registry ID card used under the MMFLA regulations relating to the trafficking of commercial marijuana.
It’s all about making sure that everyone involved in the commercial marijuana process, specifically the people driving the vehicles used to transport and deliver marijuana, are accountable and licensed by the state. It makes things easier for the drivers and chauffeurs as well by increasing the levels of permissible collaboration between the Secretary of State and LARA when it comes to this kind of licensing.
Now that you have an understanding of these amendments to the law surrounding the marijuana industry, you’ll find it easier to stay on the right side of the law. If you need any further help or legal representation for your marijuana business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Fowler & Williams. We’ll help you in whatever way we can.