Michigan Supreme Court Rejects Medical Marijuana Cooperative Defense

Grand Rapids, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling stating that the medical marijuana law does not allow collective growing operations. The state Court of Appeals had previously ruled that Ryan Bylsma was precluded from using a medical marijuana defense in the Kent County case, Michigan Live reports.

Even though the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against Bylsma, the justices noted that he could still file a motion to dismiss the marijuana related charges in Kent County Circuit Court. The 19-page decision in the medical cannabis case was issued on Wednesday afternoon.

Ryan Bylsma had created a marijuana growing operation in a building unit that had a steel door and was considered safe and secure by the defendant. Bylsma, a licensed caregiver, was legally permitted by state law to possess 24 plants. The problems arose when others grew plants inside the same building unit.

Grand Rapids police officers searched Ryan Bylsma’s unit in September and reportedly seized 88 medical marijuana plants, the Detroit News notes. Kent County Circuit Judge George Buth ruled that Michigan’s medical marijuana law mandated strictly that each set of 12 cannabis plants must be kept in a locked and enclosed facility that can only be accessed by one person.

An excerpt from Bylsma’s statement in the police report reads:

“Defendant claims that this court should not apply case law regarding possession of controlled substances to medical marijuana cases because the possession of marijuana is no longer illegal per se under state law.”

Do you think that Michigan and other states where medical marijuana laws is allowed should permit cannabis cooperatives?