Criminal Convictions MMFLA Application

The MMFLA application is a test. Everyone who submits an application is expected to provide an abundance of information and supporting documents to the State of Michigan, including demographic information, other business interests, financial account statements, property interests, tax returns, and civil/criminal history.

Now that the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (MMLB) has been approving and denying more and more applications, there should be one significant takeaway:

DO NOT FORGET TO DISCLOSE AN ARREST, CHARGE, OR CONVICTION ON YOUR APPLICATION

For example, if you were arrested, charged, or convicted with any crime (felony or misdemeanor), then you are required to include that information—with any proof or records, if available—on Disclosure 7-SA – Criminal History:

MMFLA Application Criminal Offense Example

The key word is any.

If the incident from your past qualifies as a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense, then you need to make sure it is disclosed on the application.

The Problem

What happens if you don’t remember? What if you had an encounter with law enforcement where you were arrested or charged with a felony, but it was eventually reduced or dismissed? Or what if you were arrested or charged with a misdemeanor offense that was later dropped to a civil infraction and you only received a ticket and paid a fine?

The details matter. And unfortunately, if you don’t accurately answer the question with that information, you are at risk of having your application denied for either (1) knowingly submitting an application that contains false information, (2) questions about your integrity, moral character, and reputation, or (3) both.

Criminal Offense Examples

Here are a few examples of offenses in Michigan that qualify as a misdemeanor that may not be as obvious as you’d think:

  1. Reckless driving – MCL 257.626
    1. You may be pulled over for speeding. While traffic offenses are not required to be included, depending on how fast you are going above the speed limit, law enforcement may charge you with reckless driving which is a misdemeanor. However, the charge may be later dropped to a civil infraction for speeding which you receive a ticket for and must pay a fine. This incident would need to be disclosed on Disclosure 7-SA.
  2. Social Host Liability law – MCL 436.1701
    1. If there is any underage drinking at your house and the police find out, you may be charged with a violation of the social host liability law which is a misdemeanor. The charges may be reduced to a ticket and fine for this incident, but since the original charge is a misdemeanor, you would be required to include this on Disclosure 7-SA.
  3. Disturbing the Peace (MCL 750.170) and Disorderly Conduct (MCL 750.167)
    1. The two offenses above are more examples of conduct that you may receive a ticket for that requires you to appear in court. The charges may later be reduced, but it does not change the fact that you were charged with a misdemeanor and would need to include this information on Disclosure 7-SA
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The Solution

So, how are supplemental applicants expected to remember every single incident or encounter with law enforcement and whether that resulted in a misdemeanor or felony arrest, charge, or conviction?

Unfortunately, there is no good answer. Each person who is identified as a supplemental applicant on the application must be accountable for remembering his or her past. If you cannot remember or do not have any records, then it is in your best interest to think carefully about any and all past encounters with law enforcement and any tickets you may have received or fines paid.

Every person should take it upon him or herself to investigate any incidents in the past that may qualify as a misdemeanor or felony. It is not enough to simply say “I didn’t remember” or “The background check I had run didn’t show anything.” If you are unable to remember, there are options available to assist you with refreshing your memory regarding your past:

  • ICHAT (or equivalent)
    • The State of Michigan’s Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) charges $10 to search your name against the available public records.
      • There are similar state-run background check services available depending on the state. If you have lived in other states, it is important to check these databases for any incidents.
    • This method is not 100% accurate as it depends on the frequency of local courts reporting data.
    • Additionally, if a particular incident has been removed from your record has (sealed, expunged, etc.), then an ICHAT search may not yield any results. However, the fact that an ICHAT background check does not uncover any incidents does not mean that they did not happen or that you do not have to disclose misdemeanor or felony arrests, charges, and convictions.
  • Public Records Search/FOIA Request
    • If you remember a certain municipality or location where an incident may have occurred, you can search online or visit the courthouse to ask for any and all public records under your name.
    • In certain situations, a FOIA request may be required in order to obtain any records of your past incident(s).
    • However, local record retention policies typically only require records to be held for a certain time period and then destroyed, so depending on how long ago things occurred there may not be a record for you to obtain.
  • FBI Background Check
    • The Federal Bureau of Investigation also offers a background check which can be done electronically or by mail.
    • In our experience, this method is also not always 100% accurate and certain incidents from your past may not show up on the report.
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The methods listed above are not 100% reliable or accurate but can help if you are unable to remember due to the length of time that has passed or need to refresh your memory.

Regardless of which method you use to determine what information, if any, needs to be included on Disclosure 7-SA, it is important for everyone to do his or her due diligence before submitting an application since any information not originally included on the application will be viewed as a “failure to disclose,” which will then your application at risk for denial if the Board determines that you knowingly failed to disclose an incident related to your criminal history.

Nickolas Galendez (16 Posts)

Nickolas Galendez is an associate attorney with the Cannabis Legal Group. Since joining the State Bar of Michigan in 2015, Nickolas has practiced medical marijuana law under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. For over two years, Nickolas has gained significant experience related to preparing and filing applications for local and state licenses; property, land use, and zoning issues; as well as education and advocacy efforts.


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