How long after harvest is medical marijuana considered to be ‘useable’ in the State of Michigan? That’s a question that the Michigan Appeals Court had to answer recently. The question arose out of a case that started with a raid in Michigan in 2012. During the raid, cops confiscated 5.6 pounds of marijuana from Alenna Marie Rocafort. Her attorney argued that the weight was inflated because the marijuana was just harvested four days prior, and therefore wasn’t ‘useable.’ The Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed, and in a 2-1 ruling determined that the marijuana was indeed useable. Per WZZM13:
“There was no dispute that the marijuana had been drying for four days when it was seized,” they wrote. “The lower court judge was not wrong in concluding the seized marijuana was dried, and thus usable under the MMMA.”
In a two-page dissent, Stephens said the evidence did not establish that the 5.6 pounds of marijuana was “dried leaves and flowers.”
“There is a difference between what the Legislature has termed marijuana and useable marijuana,” she wrote. “Testimony differed as to the amount of days required for the marijuana to be dried.
“I acknowledge the difficulty in determining ‘dried marijuana’ when even so-called completely dried marijuana contains 10 percent moisture, but I would also call upon the Legislature for clarification,” Stephens urged.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ time frame for how long it takes marijuana to dry. There are a number of factors that determine the drying rate of a harvest of marijuana. For starters, how big are the buds? Bigger buds take longer to dry. Were the buds cut from the plant and then dried, or was the plant chopped down and hung upside down? The later takes much longer to dry. What was the temperature of the room the marijuana was being dried in? What was the humidity level? How much air was being blown around by the fans? Were there even fans? There’s a lot of factors at play, so to say that one standard applies across the board is a claim that is not based in science, and in the case of Ms. Rocafort, it’s also not based on compassion.