MICHIGAN: Dave Overholt likes to use the expression “It’s healing, not dealing.”
That’s his boiled-down view of the medical marijuana dispensary he owns, called the Mid-Michigan Compassion Club.
It’s a small, nondescript business on Leonard Street NW, just a few blocks west of Alpine Avenue.
There, registered medical marijuana patients can go with registered caregivers to get small amounts of marijuana for $10 a gram.
The business has been in a state of flux, however, since Grand Rapids Police in early March raided Mid-Michigan Compassion Club as well as two other dispensaries, Natural Wellness on Taylor Avenue NE and Purple Med on Plainfield Avenue NE.
Police say dispensaries are against the law and not authorized under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act approved by voters in 2008.
Overholt is betting a jury will decide differently.
After the March raid, he was charged with delivery or manufacture of marijuana, maintaining a drug house and delivery or manufacture of narcotics – three felonies. The operators of the other two dispensaries, Anthony Ryan Brown with Natural Wellness and Samer Hamed with Purple Med, face similar charges.
Overholt’s case is furthest along and is expected to play out in a Kent County courtroom starting Monday.
“I think this is going to be a really big case for a lot of people across the state,” Overholt said. “It’s going to give a defined direction about dispensaries.”
He believes he is operating within the law, based on the club’s “caregiver to caregiver” marijuana transfer system instead of previously outlawed “patient-to-patient” systems.
But Kent County prosecutors say Overholt has misconstrued the law