COLDWATER — A traffic stop Thursday evening lead to seizure of a large number of marijuana plants plus processed drugs in a barn at 480 Newton Road.
The stop also resulted in misdemeanor charges against two men.
Michigan State Police (MSP) stopped a driver in Coldwater Township north of the city for a traffic violation and found a small amount of the drug, according to state police. The driver claimed he had a Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) card, but said his marijuana caregiver provider had possession of the card.
Troopers checked and found the provider had an MMMA card himself — but went to the barn to check the operation for compliance.
Troopers found the grow operation was far in excess of the amount allowed under the state law — and asked for a search warrant from Branch County District Court. They then returned and seized marijuana in amounts well over the legal limit. A firearm was also seized.
The law allows each patient 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. Any registered caregiver can have up to that amount for each or the maximum six patients registered to them — including the grower — if each person has an MMMA card.
The driver was charged with possession of marijuana. The owner of the barn is listed as Robert Scantlen. He was arrested for violation of the MMMA, bonded out on the misdemeanor and will be scheduled for arraignment in January.
MSP is continuing its investigation for possible other charges. Branch County Sheriff’s Office deputies helped in the investigation.
Scantlen and the property had been the subject of numerous township complaints in 2008 and 2009 as a nuisance because of trash and garbage at the location, which is just west of Michigan Avenue.
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