Retail marijuana sales significantly limited

State Supreme Court ruling significantly limits retail marijuana sales

Retail marijuana sales are virtually prohibited under a new Michigan Supreme Court ruling.

The 4-1 decision means that sales or transfers of medical marijuana, aside from those to registered caregivers and their five connected patients violate the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA). The ruling also states that marijuana dispensaries can be shut down under Michigan's public nuisance law.

The case headed to the state Supreme Court after Attorney General Bill Schuette and Isabella County Prosecutor Larry Burdick challenged the for-profit sale of marijuana among patients at a Mt. Pleasant dispensary. The ruling is now statewide precedent for all other lower court cases and carries immediate effect.

"Today Michigan's highest court clarified that this law is narrowly focused to help the seriously ill, not an open door to unrestricted retail marijuana sales," said Schuette. "Dispensaries will have to close their doors. Sales or transfers between patients or between caregivers and patients other than their own are not permitted under the Medical Marijuana Act."

The Isabella County Prosecutor had originally argued that a Mt. Pleasant marijuana dispensary violated the MMMA by allowing profits from medical marijuana sales, in addition to patient-to-patient marijuana transactions and the possession of medical marijuana in excess of legal limits by the dispensary owners. They said the dispensary allowed patient-to-patient sales of marijuana, with the club profiting by taking a 20% commission.