Michigan begins accepting medical marijuana business license applications
December 20, 2017
Michigan begins accepting medical marijuana business license applications Friday under a new regulatory system.
It will cost $6,000 to apply for a license. The 48-page application is available online.
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board is expected to begin awarding licenses in the first quarter of 2018.
The five-tiered licensing system for growers, processors, testers, secure transporters and dispensaries is being developed under a 2016 law that more tightly regulated medical marijuana and aimed to address confusion surrounding a 2008 voter-approved law that legalized marijuana for medical use. The new law imposes a 3 percent tax on provisioning centers.
According to the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, applicants have two options:
Pre-qualification:This allows the business to fill out and submit the application before it has received approval from the community in which it wants to locate or if it hasn't secured a location for the business. The state can do a full background check on the business and its owners. License qualification:This includes all the necessary information for a license, including a location and approval from a community that has adopted an ordinance that will allow medical marijuana businesses.
Earlier this month, Gov. Rick Snyder issued rules policing the medical marijuana businesses. The emergency rules will remain in effect for at least six months until permanent ones are finalized. They regulate varied topics including advertising, security requirements and how much capital businesses must have to get into growing, processing, selling, transporting or testing marijuana.
The state had previously given guidance on major issues such as the status of existing dispensary shops that have been operating under a legal cloud, ultimately deciding they can stay open while seeking a state license if they have had the approval of their local community.
"We needed to add a little meat to the bone on some of those things but tried to stay consistent with what was there," Andrew Brisbo, director of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation, said of the advisory bulletins issued in recent months.
Under the 51 rules, licensees will need to demonstrate capitalization ranging from $150,000 to $500,000, depending on the type of business. At least 25 percent of the capital must be in liquid assets, such as cash, marijuana inventory or investments. No more than 15 ounces of usable marijuana or 72 plants may be used to meet capital requirements.
Licensees and applicants must notify the LARA, the state police and local law enforcement within 24 hours of any theft or less of product.
People who violate the rules can be fined $5,000. Businesses can face a $10,000 fine or an amount equaling daily gross receipts, whichever is greater.
Growers, processors and provisioning centers can operate out of the same location if it is OK with the municipality and if they have "distinct and identifiable areas" and separate entrances and exits. Visitor logs must be kept, and video surveillance is required inside the businesses.
The advertising of marijuana products is prohibited if it is visible to the public from any street, sidewalk, park or other public place.
About 265,000 patients have registered with the state to grow their own marijuana or obtain it from 42,000 registered caregivers who can supply a limited number of people.