Pubdate: Mon, 17 Jun 2013
Source: Battle Creek Enquirer (MI)
Copyright: 2013 Battle Creek Enquirer
Author: Jennifer Bowman


Owner: No Marijuana Is Stored on Site

The owner of a medical marijuana collective in Battle Creek has 
started using a new business model that he believes allows him to 
operate legally.

Brock Korreck, owner of the Higher Expectations Medical Partnership 
(HEMP) Compassion Club at 28 S. Edison St., said his collective now 
charges caregivers a fee to enroll in their membership and requires 
them to take educational classes on growing and maintaining plants. 
It also connects patients with caregivers if they are in need of one, 
Korreck said, but does not encourage members to become caregivers themselves.

He said marijuana is no longer stored on site. The model is meant to 
provide a safe place for caregiver-to-patient transfers and "options 
for patients to have new caregivers if their caregivers aren't living 
up to their expectations," Korreck said.

Caregivers are charged 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 do not pay any 
fees. Korreck said the shutdown of dispensaries has left many 
patients scrambling to find a caregiver. And those who have managed 
to find one, he said, have still found obtaining their medication 
more difficult.

"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."

Medical pot dispensaries across the state shut down after a February 
ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court ruled patient-to-patient 
transfers of marijuana illegal. Since then, collectives have tried 
new business models in hopes of keeping their doors open.

At least two facilities in the state, including The Karmacy in 
Springfield, require cardholders to register for a private 
membership. Their current caregivers can also become members or 
patients can be assigned one within the organization. Members then 
can become caregivers themselves to have their own patients. 
Marijuana is stored at the collective in lockers that are rented out 
to caregivers and a patient must order from their registered 
caregiver at least 24 hours in advance.

Under state law, registered caregivers are permitted to have up to 15 
ounces for their five designated patients only. The model has not 
been approved in Calhoun County but has been OK'd by officials in 
other municipalities.

Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert said in March that 
dispensaries were illegal under the new ruling and that making a 
profit was not allowed. Early last week, Gilbert declined to comment 
on whether the Battle Creek collective's new model was legal because 
he has not seen 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."

He added, "A lot of people seem to think that this is an upstart for 
businesses. And if you look at the statute, it's not supposed to be a 
profit-making situation."

Korreck disagreed. He said lawmakers have left patients with few 
alternatives. And his business plan may help the county prosecutor 
find a safer and more accessible way for patients to obtain 
medication, he said.

"Because if you think about it, we're giving him an option," Korreck 
said. "Because he's going to shut all these dispensaries down, and 
there's going to be a lot of mad patients. Well, if he shuts all the 
dispensaries down he still has an option like, 'Look you can still go 
there and that is legal.'"

"Because if not," said marketing and promotions employee Brent Fogg, 
"these patients are going to have to obtain their medication illegally."

More information about H.E.M.P. Compassion Club can be found by 
calling 753-1350.
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