The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded grant funds to support a Medical Marijuana program centered community education and compliance.

The Public Safety and Infrastructure and Development Committee met Monday night and approved a resolution authorizing the 2018 Michigan Medical Marijuana Operation and Oversight Grant. The grant funds total $47,229 and can be used during the grant period of January 1st, 2018 through September 30th. Through the grant agreement, the sheriff’s office will be reimbursed for funds spent as part of the program such as equipment, educational literature and the purchase of a new vehicle. The county gets reimbursed for authorized expenditures incurred and no matching funds are required. Funding for different counties is determined by the number of registered medical marijuana cardholders in each, and cards are approved through the state. The identities of cardholders are not considered public information, as they are protected under HIPAA laws or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Undersheriff Jeff Warder tells WHMI they plan to utilize the grant for educational purposes and to make sure people stay complaint, but there will not be random checks. He says the office would still look into any formal complaints that are made and hopefully educate the individual if they happen to be out of compliance, adding money from grant allows them the opportunity to do so without taxing their patrols. Warder stressed he hopes people understand that they are not looking to do random compliance checks or compliance enforcement. He says the grant is made possible through the state and it is money they can use toward education and working with all of the cardholders in the county while forming a partnership with them.

This marks the second year the sheriff’s office has applied for the grant and been awarded the funds. The full Board of Commissioners still needs to vote on the final resolution to accept the grant. (JM)