MSC will take up medical marijuana shop appeal

The Michigan Supreme Court has granted leave to appeal in a case that could put to rest the question once and for all: Are medical marijuana dispensaries permitted under Michigan law, or not?

Brandon McQueen, co-owner of Mount Pleasant-based Compassionate Apothecary LLC, also known as CA, is appealing the Michigan Court of Appeals Aug. 23, 2011, opinion in Michigan v. McQueen, et al. In that decision, the court said that CA was not operating in accordance with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act when it allowed patient-to-patient transfers of marijuana.

CA operated as a private co-op type of club, and collected fees and a percentage of transactions between members. It did not grow or sell marijuana, but instead provided the space to store it and facilitated transactions between members.

McQueen said that’s allowed under section 4 of the Act, which doesn’t prohibit such transfers.

An Isabella County trial court agreed. But the Court of Appeals overturned that decision, stating that the Act is silent on patient-to-patient transfers and delivery. Even though the Act doesn’t define terms such as delivery or transfer, the panel said “These two words have been given or have acquired peculiar meanings in regard to controlled substances, and we construe them according to those meanings.”

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will take up a package of bills that would define some ambiguous parts of the Act, such as the definition of a doctor-patient relationship in the context of medical marijuana, and how the transport of medical marijuana is permitted by law.


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