(1) It is unlawful for any person to possess 2.5 gallons, or equivalent by weight, or more of ether unless she or he is the holder of a current valid license or permit as provided by this part.
(2) Whenever the department has reason to believe that any person is or has been violating the provisions of this part or any rules adopted pursuant thereto, the department may, without further process of law, confiscate and dispose of the ether in question. The department is authorized to seize and dispose of any abandoned ether.
(3) The department is authorized to enter into contracts with private business entities for the purpose of confiscation and disposal of ether as authorized in subsection (2).
(4) The provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply to:
(a) Any common carrier transporting ether into this state or within the boundaries of this state by air, highway, railroad, or water;
(b) Any contract or private carrier transporting ether on highways into this state or within the boundaries of this state by motor vehicle when such contract or private carrier is engaged in such transport pursuant to certificate or permit, by whatever name, issued to them by any federal or state officer, agency, bureau, commission, or department;
(c) Pharmacists, for use in the usual course of their professional practice or in the performance of their official duties;
(d) Medical practitioners, for use in the usual course of their professional practice or in the performance of their official duties;
(e) Persons who procure ether for disposition by or under the supervision of pharmacists or medical practitioners employed by them or for the purpose of lawful research, teaching, or testing, and not for resale;
(f) Hospitals and other institutions which procure ether for lawful administration by practitioners;
(g) Officers or employees of federal, state, or local governments carrying out their official duties; and
(h) Law enforcement agencies of this state or any of its political subdivisions, and the employees thereof, so long as said agencies and employees are acting within the scope of their respective official capacities and in the performance of their duties.
(5) The department may adopt rules regarding persons engaged in lawful teaching, research, or testing who possess ether and may issue letters of exemption to facilitate the lawful possession of ether under this section.