2018-01-11 / Opinions

VIEW from Lansing

LARA advises patients on Medical Marijuana Program registration process

LANSING - The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has released information to inform and advise patients regarding the registration process for acquiring a registry identification card for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) is a state registry program that administers the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) as approved by Michigan voters on Nov. 4, 2008. MMMP is a division within the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation (BMMR), is separate from the Facilities Licensing Division within BMMR, and is governed by a different law. MMMP is not affiliated with any third-party business operations, “dispensaries,” provisioning centers, caregivers, or certifying physicians and is not associated with any business operation that uses the terms “Michigan Medical Marijuana Program” or “MMMP” in their name or advertising.

In order to ensure that the registration process is conducted efficiently and effectively - and to allow for the communication of accurate information - individuals with questions regarding the MMMP’s application and registration process should communicate directly with the MMMP by reviewing the FAQs on the MMMP website at www.michigan.gov/mmp, emailing LARA-BMMMR-MMMPINFO@michigan. gov, or calling 517-284-6400.

Applicants often receive inaccurate information from third parties that result in their applications being delayed or denied. Thirdparty business operations which tell patients that their application and physician certification serve as a temporary registration card are putting the patients at risk of possible arrest. As outlined in the MMMA, a patient or caregiver must present their valid registry identification card and a valid driver license - or government-issued identification card with photo - to law enforcement to be protected from arrest. BMMR recommends that applicants wait until they receive a registry card before engaging in the medical use of marihuana.

If a patient or caregiver is submitting an application or a change form to the MMMP, it is important to read and follow the instructions for completing the form and include all required supporting documents listed in the instructions. If a patient or caregiver is unsure about the instructions, they should call the MMMP before mailing the documents. It is also important for patients to only submit one application and its supporting documentation per envelope.

If a patient was denied and is reapplying, it is important that they read and follow the instructions in the denial letter and - if they are unsure about the instructions - call the MMMP before mailing the documents. Patients should date the new application on the date they sign it - do not backdate or use the same date that was on the application that was denied.

Patients should not allow other individuals or third parties to submit their applications or any other documents to the MMMP as patients will be unable to determine when or if their applications were submitted. Patients should not allow other individuals or third parties to retain copies of their documents, state-issued driver licenses, personal identification cards, or voter registrations as that increases the possibility of fraudulent submissions.

The MMMP has new, revised applications and forms available on the MMMP website at www.michigan.gov/mmp. Applicants, registered patients, and registered caregivers are required to use these forms effective Feb. 1, 2018. Failure to use the new forms after that date will result in a denial or the form being rejected. Those submitting an application or request for changes to his or her registration should only download forms from the MMMP’s website.

While there are currently no licensed provisioning centers in the state of Michigan, patients who wish to acquire medical marihuana or medical marihuana-infused products from licensed provisioning centers in the future must first present a valid registry identification card at the time of purchase.

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