On April 8, 2020 the MRA released its latest bulletin regarding the phasing-out of caregiver product from the adult-use market. The bulletin specifically prohibited products “derived” from caregivers to enter the Adult-Use cannabis market. Throughout this year the MRA has been inching closer and closer to removing caregiver product from adult-use facilities all together. This bulletin, along with the new “phase” we have entered, places an immediate ban on caregiver produced or derived product from entering the adult-use market.
As of June 1, 2020, we are in Phase 2 of this process. This means the MRA will not permit any MRTMA licensee with equivalent licenses to transfer caregiver produced or derived products from their medical facility to their adult-use facility. However, licensed medical growers may continue to receive seeds, seedlings, tissues, bud, shake, and trim from caregivers.
There is one exception to this rule however, and that is transferring caregiver plants and genetics to a Michigan marijuana microbusiness. The MRTMA rules allow a caregiver on the microbusiness license to do a one-time transfer of caregiver plants to the microbusiness when it’s first opening up.
Back to the issue at hand—how exactly are adult-use facilities going to receive genetics without caregivers? Well, if MRA were to take the position that even a clone from a plant derived from caregiver genetics would be included in this ban, they would effectively make illegal every single plant grown in an MRTMA grow facility in the State of Michigan. This would certainly be an absurd position to take. As a matter of fact, every single plant growing in a licensed facility in the State of Michigan was “derived”, at some point, from a caregiver. Which is likely why under MRTMA, a marihuana grower may acquire marihuana seeds or seedlings from a person who is 21 years of age or older. This means that if a caregiver is a Michigan resident, who over the age of 21, they may sell seeds/seedlings to a grower!
As Michigan cannabis attorneys, we understand the need for licensees to get genetics and products over to the adult-use market. We are diligently communicating with the MRA to get a clear picture of what will and will not work when requesting transfers and may already have one by the time you read this article. While we suspect that the caregiver genetics example described above would be permissible, making those kinds of assumptions when it comes to dealing with the MRA can be dangerous.