Prosecutor warns marijuana not legal in Osceola County

May 18, 2017

By John Raffel

Tony Badovinac is in his first year as Osceola County prosecuting attorney but has expressed some concerns lately in print as a way, which he says is a part of his job to inform citizens of criminal trends.

Badovinac released a letter he has sent to others to the Marion Press to express his concerns on the illegal use of controlled substances, which he says continues to plague the county.

“The use of meth and heroin continue to increase,” he said. “I am told weekly by someone that the use of marijuana is now legal. That of course is simply not true and in fact readers should know that the recently enacted Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFA) did not make marijuana legal for everyone.”

Osceola County Prosecutor, Anthony Badovinac

Osceola County Prosecutor, Anthony Badovinac

He points out that on Dec. 20, 2016, MMFA created a comprehensive state licensing system that would control the growing, process transporting, testing and sale of medical marijuana across the state. He noted the MMFLA requires an annual license for growers processors, providing centers, secure transporters and safety compliance facilities. Starting this December, an applicant can apply for a license to grow a certain number of plants.

“Municipalities will be able to decide if they want to allow growers, processors, secure transporters, and safety compliance centers in their jurisdiction,” Badovinac said. “A person cannot apply to the State of Michigan for a license unless a municipality has adopted an ordinance that authorizes that type of facility.

“Municipalities may charge an annual fee of up to $5,000 on licensed marijuana facilities and regulate marijuana facilities within their jurisdiction (i.e. zoning ordinances). However, the MMFLA prohibits municipalities from regulating the purity or pricing of marijuana, or interfering with statutory regulations for licensing facilities. A municipality is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as to any information it receives in connection with a license application.”

Badovinac further points out a provisioning center purchases marijuana from a grower or processor and sells, supplies, or provides it to registered patients; while a grower cultivates, dries, trims, or cures and packages marijuana for sale to a processor or provisioning center.

“A processor purchases marijuana from a grower and extracts resin from the marijuana plant,” he said. “A secure transporter stores and transports marijuana from one facility to another. A safety compliance facility receives marijuana from a marijuana facility or registered caregiver and tests it for contaminants and other substances.”

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