Michigan About to Pass New Medical Marijuana Laws: Will This Affect Me?
After a couple years of contemplation, the Michigan legislature has finally passed a comprehensive law to regulate dispensaries in Michigan. The bills currently await the signature of the Governor before they become law. Included in the package is a reform of the edibles law which will make them legal again under the MMMA House Bill 4210. Additionally, there will be a seed tracking system that will be put in place House Bill 4827. However the largest change comes with House Bill No. 4209.
House Bill No. 4209 Creates Licenses and Approval Board
Bill 4209 puts together a new system of state licenses and municipal approval for (1) growers (2) processors (3) transporters (4) provisioning centers or dispensaries, and (5) safety compliance facilities. The bill first allows the municipalities to regulate the number and type of “marijuana facilities” in its jurisdiction. Moreover, it allows municipalities to charge up to $5,000 annually to “marijuana facilities” operating in its jurisdiction to defray the administrative and regulatory costs associated with laws and operations the municipalities will have to upkeep.
What is The Process For Acquiring a State License?
Obtaining a state license to be a grower, processor, transporter, provisioning center, or safety compliance facility, however, does not appear to be easy. Not only will the applicant need to meet the requirements of their respective municipality, they will also need to qualify and be approved by the new medical marijuana licensing board created within the department of licensing and regulatory affairs. This new board will consist of five members appointed by the governor whose terms last 4 years. Each applicant will have to pay an application fee and regulatory fee. Among other qualifications to be licensed, the board will look at criminal history, tax history, financial ability and plans, description of the facility, number of employees, projected gross receipts, the ability to obtain adequate insurance, whether the individual has been a resident of Michigan for a 2 year period, moral character, capitalization, business probity, and whether they meet the standards for the license that they are applying for. Each specific license also has its own qualifications.
Many Smaller Dispensary Owners Will Be Pushed Out of Business
This is a very tedious 62 page bill that is going to put a lot requirements and restrictions on those that wish to obtain a state license. It appears that the financial and practical restrictions, along with looming municipal ordinances that may limit the number and type of facilities, that many people will be pushed out of the dispensary business.
Will The MMMA Be Affected By These New Marijuana Bills?
However, these bills do not appear to restrict caregivers growing and supplying for their own patients and patients growing for themselves. It seems like this is going to be a system that is set up alongside the current structure of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. The change will be that dispensaries operating illegally or in the gray area of the MMMA will likely be forced to comply or shut down. There are numerous dispensaries throughout almost every municipality in Michigan. It will be extremely important to comply with these new regulations if these businesses want to keep their doors open and operate legally. For more information, visit our main medical marijuana page or simply fill out our confidential contact form.