Jan 112016
 January 11, 2016

drying marijuana 1How 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.

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
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  • Siggy Freud

    You guys make it so hard, just take it to a lab and have them test the moisture content. Pot loses 80% of it’s weight in drying to get to a “cured” saleable state. This takes x numbers of days in x amount of humidity. Normal cured smoke has a 5%-10% content.
    Smoke on.

    • http://www.organibliss.com Doc Deadhead

      Pretty hard to take it to a lab when the decision needs to be made in the field.

      What, are you gonna ask the cops….”could you take a sample to the lab and wait 2 weeks before you seize all our product, cash and cars?” Not likely.

      A hand held field testing device would have solved this BUT the cops wouldn’t have been able to terrorize these folks.

      Don’t expect the cops to give anyone the benefit of doubt.

      Oh, BTW, run the numbers on that amount of partially dried product and they would be at 32-36 ounces dried. At 2 caregivers with 5 patients each they would be allowed 30 ounces dried so no matter what they would have been over their numbers. Even at just 15% moisture, dry enough to burn, they would have had over 40 ounces.

      • Closet Warrior

        Thanks for schooling’ Mr. Freud! Obviously he didn’t read the exact article we did and btw- I have personally seen cops rip plants out of the ground and weigh roots, dirt n all. Bastards!!!

        • MeemawGrow

          Truth! Happened 2 me…5 plants b4 the narco realized it was hemp…0.07% THc. #educationnotassumption

          • Closet Warrior

            Just curious Meemaw, we’re you growin 5 hemp plants for a hobby, curiosity, cbd’s, or was there more plants and that’s what happened before they realized it was just hemp or did they take it to court?

          • MeemawGrow

            I grow for health. I’m also a breeder of plants.

          • Closet Warrior

            That’s cool, I was just curious. Kudos for growing healthy, those who grow know! When doing something that helps yourself and others at the same time loving what you’re doing it is a dream come true. At least, that’s what I’ve found. Very fulfilling. Keep on keepin on Meemaw!!!

          • MeemawGrow

            Always Warrior! :-)

    • Closet Warrior

      Besides the fact that not everyone lives in a pot friendly state and has access to a “lab” ! We can’t all be as smart and privileged as you Sigmond

  • http://www.organibliss.com Doc Deadhead

    For competition we shoot for between 6-8% moisture, that is the preferred % for long term storage also.

    12% and above will barely burn. Above 15% will mold in a jar within a week..

    Some try to call it sticky but it’s just too wet. Properly dried and cured pot is not sticky, it’s dry and cured.

    There is a hand held moisture meter, about $150, that would show in 60 seconds whether the product was “dried leaves and flower”. I used it while testing corn for use in corn stoves.

    The tester works on any dry organic compound and yes works on cannabis(kinda ruins about a half ounce though, you have to smash it tight).

    Every Sheriffs Dept could have one, they are not expensive but it would have prevented this shit storm.

    Using a qualified testing machine, I would consider “usable” cannabis “burnable” at under 15% moisture content. We can only “burn” medical marijuana in Michigan so it needs to be ‘dried’ enough to be rolled and smoked.

    The actual days it takes cannot be standardized without controlled conditions but the actual moisture can be measured any time.

  • Local Surfer

    So many dummies ruling on cannabis laws. People with absolutely no knowledge of plants and cannabis cultivation running the show. Anybody with any sense knows you have to have 3 weeks of curing AFTER drying process! Its all unusable until that is done. Unless of course all your interests lay in trying to make it the worse outcome so you can prosecute.

  • MeemawGrow

    So what happens when you’re doing a long cure to degrade the THc to CBN? Appears to me that those trying to ‘judge’ may want to actually learn about the curing (drying) methods and reasoning as to why we cure certain ways, instead of just saying it’s more than allowed. Not all clients want high THc and prefer an organic cure as opposed to a separated extraction. Just like with foods & alcohol, do we charge people in those industries based on curing methods or overages?

  • Jim

    Geez these people should already know this. It takes Atleast a month and half before it’s usable