Michigan Medical Marijuana

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What is Medical Marijuana in Michigan?

Medical marijuana in Michigan is usable marijuana (dried leaves and flowers) and other related products that have been recommended by a physician for a patient. Medical marijuana is prescribed to patients in Michigan who suffer from specific debilitating health conditions. There is limited clinical research on the efficacy of marijuana as a medicine due to a lack of research and testing caused by production restrictions. However, preliminary evidence has shown that marijuana can be used in managing and treating several medical symptoms and health conditions. Medical marijuana is dispensed through different means including tinctures, capsules, dermal patches, oral and dermal sprays, edibles, and vaporizing or smoking.

Marijuana contains chemical compounds called cannabinoids and the two most important cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the compound that causes the state of euphoria (high) experienced by users, while CBD has no psychoactive effects.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Michigan?

Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Michigan. On November 1, 2008, Michigan voters passed Proposal 1 to legalize the medical use of cannabis, and the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) was enacted to regulate the production and use of medical marijuana. The MMMA became effective on December 4, 2008. In 2016, the law was amended to allow for the sale of medical marijuana by licensed dispensaries called provisioning centers. The MMMA established the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA, formerly Marijuana Regulatory Agency) to administer the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) in the state.

Who Can Get Medical Marijuana in Michigan?

Per the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, medical marijuana patients and their designated caregivers can legally buy medical marijuana in Michigan. A person must be diagnosed with at least one of the qualifying debilitating medical conditions by a physician to be registered as a medical marijuana patient. The qualifying debilitating medical conditions in Michigan are:

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Nail patella
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Agitation of Alzheimer's disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Colitis
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Arthritis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Tourette's disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Autism
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • A medical condition or its treatment that causes one of the following:
  • Severe and chronic pain
  • Cachexia
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms

Caregivers are adults that have agreed to assist patients with the cultivation, production, purchase, or use of medical marijuana.

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana in Michigan?

Section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act permits medical marijuana patients and their caregivers to grow marijuana in their homes. Medical marijuana patients can grow up to 12 marijuana plants at home. However, caregivers can grow up to 12 marijuana plants for each patient under their care. The MMMA allows a caregiver to register up to five medical marijuana patients. Therefore, a caregiver with five medical marijuana patients can grow up to 60 marijuana plants at home.

The MMMA provides the following conditions for home cultivation of marijuana:

  • Marijuana plants must be grown indoors
  • The plants must not be visible to the public
  • The plants must be grown in a secured facility

Do You Need to See a Doctor to Get Medical Marijuana in Michigan?

Yes, persons interested in applying for the Michigan medical marijuana identification card must be certified by physicians. The certifying physician must be a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine and surgery with a valid license to practice in Michigan. The State of Michigan does not provide a list of approved physicians for its medical marijuana program. Physicians are at liberty to register with the MMMP or abstain.

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act mandates an in-person consultation with a physician for an applicant to be certified as qualified to join the MMMP. A physician recommending a patient for medical marijuana treatment must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Review the patient's relevant medical records and evaluate the patient's current medical condition
  • Create and maintain records of the patient's medical condition
  • Has reasonable expectation to provide follow-up care to the patient for monitoring the efficacy of the use of medical marijuana
  • Notify the patient's primary care physician of the patient's medical condition and intention to certify the use of medical marijuana for the patient
  • Explain the risks and potential benefits of medical marijuana to the patient

Can a Minor Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan?

Yes, minors can get medical marijuana cards in Michigan provided their parents or legal guardians consent in writing to serve as their caregivers. They must also consent to be responsible for overseeing their medical marijuana dosages. The law requires that two physicians certify the use of medical marijuana for a minor seeking to join the MMMP. They must also explain the risks and potential benefits of using marijuana to the minor's parents/legal guardians.

How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan

The Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) is responsible for registering and issuing medical marijuana identification cards to medical marijuana patients in Michigan. Medical marijuana patients can apply for Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) identification cards online or by mail. However, those intending to designate caregivers cannot apply online.

A patient will need the following to apply for a Michigan Medical Marijuana Program ID card:

  • Physician certification
  • Proof of Michigan residency - this can be a valid Michigan:
  • driver's license
  • personal identification card, or
  • voter registration card accompanied by a government-issued document containing name and date of birth
  • Application fee of $40

A patient without a caregiver can register online by first creating an account on the CRA website. The patient must then follow the instructions in the Applying for Patient Only Registry Card to complete the application. The MMMP will send an approval email to the patient if the application is approved. The MMMP ID card will then be sent via mail to the applicant within 10 business days after the approval of the application.

Patients applying for the MMMP ID card by mail must complete and submit the MMMP Application Packet. A submitted MMMP Application Packet must include the completed application form, physician certification, proof of residency, and application fee. If the patient is designating a caregiver, a copy of the caregiver's valid state-issued driver's license or personal identification card must be included in the packet.

Parents or legal guardians of minor applicants must complete and submit the MMMP Minor Application Packet (For patients under 18). In addition to the documents submitted by adult patients with caregivers, the MMMP requires two completed physician certificates, a completed Declaration of Person Responsible for Minor Patients form, and proof of parentage or legal guardianship to be included in the minor application packet.

Application packets should be mailed to:

Michigan Medical Marijuana Program

PO Box 30083

Lansing, MI 45909

The MMMP will send MMMP ID cards to successful applicants by mail within 15 business days.

Does Michigan Allow Medical Marijuana Patients to Designate Caregivers?

Yes, the MMMA allows medical marijuana patients to designate caregivers. A person designated as a caregiver must be aged 21 years or older, and must not have been convicted of a felony in the preceding 10 years. Moreover, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act prohibits a person that has been convicted of a felony involving violent crime or illegal drugs from being designated as a caregiver even if the conviction was over a decade ago. The state mandates parents or legal guardians of minors to serve as their caregivers. Medical marijuana patients must submit complete application packets indicating they will require caregivers and the details of the caregivers. If a patient already has an active MMMP ID card, they must complete and submit the Add or Change Caregiver form.

Caregivers cannot have more than five medical marijuana patients under their care. Caregivers are issued medical marijuana cards alongside patients who designate them as their caregivers. In Michigan, caregivers cannot independently apply for medical marijuana ID cards. However, they can remove patients from their lists by completing and submitting Remove Patient forms. Patients can also change their caregivers by submitting Add or Change Caregiver forms.

What Is the Cost of a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card?

The Michigan medical marijuana identification card costs $40. Online applicants can pay via electronic checks, debit cards, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are accepted). Those submitting mail applications can pay the fee via check or money order made payable to the "State of Michigan-MMMP". There are no additional fees for caregivers, and there is no provision for reduced fees for patients on financial aid. It costs $40 to renew a medical marijuana card in Michigan.

What Do You Need When Visiting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Michigan?

Medical marijuana patients must present the Michigan Medical Marijuana ID cards to licensed provisioning centers (medical marijuana dispensaries) when they want to buy medical marijuana products. Patients, who have received approval emails from the MMMP, but are yet to receive their MMMP ID cards, can use those emails and government-issued identification cards to buy medical marijuana products. The approval email is valid for 15 days from the day the application was approved. Provisioning centers will inspect MMMP ID cards or approval emails before selling medical marijuana to patients. Prescriptions are not needed to purchase medical marijuana in Michigan.

The MMMA limits the amount of medical marijuana a patient can buy to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana in a day. Note that, there is 1 ounce of usable marijuana in 16 ounces of marijuana-infused products in solid form, or 36 fluid ounces of marijuana-infused products in liquid form, or 7 grams of marijuana-infused products in gaseous form.

Caregivers can buy marijuana products for their patients from provisioning centers by presenting their MMMP cards and government-issued photo identification cards. They can buy up to the daily medical marijuana limits for each patient under their care.

How to Renew Your Michigan Medical Marijuana Card

A medical marijuana identification card is valid for two years and must be renewed within 90 days of its expiry date. The expiry date is written on the MMMP ID card. A caregiver's MMMP ID card expires the same day as the patient's MMMP ID card.

The steps required to renew an MMMP ID card are the same as those for new applications. Medical marijuana patients without caregivers can renew their medical marijuana cards online via the CRA website. Minors and adults with designated caregivers can renew their MMMP ID cards by completing and submitting the MMMP Application packets and the MMMP Minor Application packet (for patients under 18) respectively.

Is It Possible to Overdose on Cannabis in Michigan?

It is very unlikely and almost impossible to have a fatal overdose from cannabis in Michigan. There have been no reported deaths in the United States that were caused solely by the consumption of cannabis. That said, it is possible to have bad reactions to smoking weed or consuming other marijuana-based products, like edibles, with high THC levels. Due to the different metabolic rates and tolerance thresholds of Michigan residents, it is hard to define exactly what is too much. Different people will have different reactions to consuming cannabis.

Consuming large quantities of marijuana can result in undesirable side effects such as:

  • Confusion
  • Thirstiness or dry mouth ( "cotton mouth")
  • Concentration problems
  • Slower reaction times
  • Dry eyes
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety and other mood swings

In extreme cases, cannabis consumption can result in:

  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia and panic attacks
  • Nausea and vomiting

If I am Pregnant, Can I Use Marijuana to Relieve Nausea in Michigan?

While incidences have been reported, it is not advisable for pregnant women in Michigan to use marijuana to relieve nausea or any other conditions. A report in Michigan Medicine suggests that marijuana consumption during pregnancy may have adverse effects on the mother and the fetus, newborn, or child. These effects include preterm labor in the mother and tremors, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, leukemia, and other types of cancer in the baby. Michigan physicians do not recommend marijuana to pregnant women, and persons using medical marijuana must inform their doctors if they get pregnant.

Michigan laws prescribe warning labels on marijuana products that inform pregnant or breastfeeding women, or women planning to get pregnant of the dangers of marijuana use.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG), citing studies that show marijuana may disrupt normal brain development in fetuses, also discourages its use during pregnancy. The studies suggested that consuming marijuana - by smoking or ingestion - during pregnancy may also lead to behavioral issues in the child.

Michigan Medical Marijuana
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