BATTLE CREEK, Michigan — A group involved in supplying medical marijuana in Battle Creek is among those using a new business model designed with aims of operating legally in Michigan after the state's highest court outlawed marijuana shops.
Brock Korreck, owner of the Higher Expectations Medical Partnership Compassion Club, told the Battle Creek Enquirer (http://bcene.ws/10pIxnS ) that his collective now charges caregivers a one-time $100 fee for any new patient they are connected with through the collective and a $100 monthly fee to use the facility as a place of transfer.
Patients don't pay fees under the collective's new business model, and marijuana is no longer stored on site. It also connects patients with caregivers if they are in need of one, Korreck said, but doesn't encourage members to become caregivers themselves.
"Nobody wants to meet in parking lots," Korreck said. "Nobody wants people at their houses. Nobody wants to go to anybody's house. This is a safe access point."
Michigan voters in 2008 approved marijuana for some chronic medical conditions, but the Michigan Supreme Court in February slammed the door on marijuana shops. The court said owners of so-called dispensaries aren't entitled to operate a business that facilitates patient-to-patient sales.
As medical marijuana dispensaries have shut down, some collectives have tried new business models in hopes of keeping their doors open. Some other facilities in the state require cardholders to register for a private membership, but the model hasn't been approved in Calhoun County.
The county's Prosecutor David Gilbert hasn't said whether the Battle Creek collective's new model is legal because he didn't have the chance yet to see its operations firsthand. But he criticized new models' charging of fees, saying it goes against the idea behind the law.
"They haven't legalized marijuana," said Gilbert. "They've legalized people that are really sick getting it."
The state's marijuana law makes no mention of pot shops. It says people can possess up to 2.5 ounces of "usable" marijuana and keep up to 12 plants in a locked place. Under the law, a caregiver also can provide marijuana to as many as five people.
Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com