State regulators phasing out caregiver marijuana from retail market | Michigan Radio
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State regulators phasing out caregiver marijuana from retail market

Mar 3, 2020

(file photo)
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State regulators are phasing out cannabis products coming from medical marijuana caregivers from Michigan’s retail market.

Caregivers are legally allowed to grow 72 marijuana plants. The state has allowed caregivers to sell their excess cannabis to the retail market. As recently as January, caregivers provided nearly two-thirds of the marijuana flower available on store shelves.

But the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) is giving the industry until this fall to stock its own shelves.

MRA Spokesman David Harns says, with nearly 200 growers' licenses, the industry will no longer need to rely on caregivers.

“It’s important for us to make sure that we let the industry know as far ahead of time as possible so that they can make the proper decisions and use their resources wisely,” says Harns.

Harns insists state regulators are committed to making sure medical marijuana patients have access to the products they rely on.    

There are concerns taking caregivers out of the retail market will result in higher prices and product shortages. 

Michigan voters approved medical marijuana in 2008. In 2018, voters approved recreational, adult-use marijuana.  

Phase One – Growers and Processors

The MRA gave notice in December, that – beginning on March 1, 2020 – growers and processors who obtain marijuana plants, concentrates, vape cartridges, or infused products from caregivers would be subject to disciplinary action.

Phase One of the phase-out process begins immediately and runs through May 31, 2020. During phase one, growers and processors licensed under the MMFLA who obtain marijuana flower – defined as bud, shake, and trim only – directly from a caregiver who produced the flower will not be subject to disciplinary action by the MRA under certain conditions.

Phase Two – Growers

Phase two begins on June 1, 2020 and ends on September 30, 2020. During phase two, growers licensed under the MMFLA who obtain marijuana flower – defined as bud, shake, and trim only – directly from a caregiver who produced the flower will not be subject to disciplinary action by the MRA under certain conditions.

During phase two, the total weight of marijuana flower that growers obtain from caregivers must be less than or equal to the total weight of marijuana flower that the licensee harvested (both wet and dry) between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 plus the projected harvest weight (dry) of all plants that are in the flowering process on May 31, 2020.

Phase Two – Processors

Phase two begins on June 1, 2020 and ends on September 30, 2020. During phase two, processors licensed under the MMFLA who obtain marijuana flower – defined as bud, shake, and trim only – directly from a caregiver who produced the flower will not be subject to disciplinary action by the MRA under certain conditions.

During phase two, the total weight of marijuana flower that processors obtain from caregivers must be less than or equal to 50% of the total weight of marijuana flower the licensee obtained from caregivers between the dates of March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. The marijuana flower obtained from caregivers must be processed and may not be sold or transferred as marijuana flower.

End of Phase Out Process

The phase out process for caregiver product ends on September 30, 2020. A licensee who accepts an external transfer after September 30, 2020 will be subject to disciplinary action by the MRA.