Grand Rapids, MI The state Court of Appeals says “cloned” marijuana plants count against the number of plants a medical marijuana caregiver can legally possess.
The clones, or cuttings from a mature plant, were at issue in a Grand Rapids case after police found 21 marijuana plants and 22 clones in a grow room.
The ruling is the first in Michigan to determine what constitutes a marijuana plant, a Court of Appeals panel said.
Lorenzo Enrique Ventura, as a medical marijuana caregiver and patient, was allowed to possess up to 24 plants.
He was convicted in a bench trial of possession with intent to deliver marijuana and manufacturing marijuana. He was sentenced to two years on probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.
The defense argued that the cuttings were only leaves, not independent plants.
The issue before the court: “(W)e must determine at what point does a cutting from a mature marijuana plant that is placed in ‘grow material’ become a ‘plant’ itself that may be separately counted as a plant for purposes of determining how many plants defendant had in his possession.”
The appeals panel said the medical marijuana law did not provide a definition of “plant,” and there are no other published opinions in Michigan that interpret the word.
The panel said that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, in determining what constitutes a plant for purposes of sentencing guidelines, determined that a cutting is a plant if it has “readily observable evidence of root formation.”
The panel affirmed Kent County Circuit Judge Donald Johnston’s determination at trial that Ventura possessed 43 plants.
“Probably the key ingredients in any plant would be some leaf material, some kind of stem, and some sort of root material. … And it seems to me once you have those components in place, you have a plant,” Johnston said in his ruling.
He said clones that shriveled up and died did not count.
“So it seems to me the 22 so-called clones that had root structures and leaves and are green and are alive constitute plants. They’re not very big plants and they’re not mature plants, but the statute doesn’t address that. It just says plants.”
A police officer testified that some of the clones, pulled from grow material, had hair-like fibers growing from the main root, court documents said.
Court of Appeals judges David Sawyer, Christopher Murray and Patrick Meter signed the opinion.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Marijuana ‘Clones,’ Or Cuttings, Count As Plants Under Medical Marijuana Law
Author: John Agar
Contact: Michigan Local News
Photo Credit: Glen Stubbe
Website: Michigan Local News