Bogus cease-and-desist letters target Michigan medical cannabis dispensaries

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Several Michigan medical marijuana dispensaries have received sham cease-and-desist letters even though they have been operating legitimately under temporary state rules while awaiting a business license.

The bogus letters resemble genuine cease-and-desist notifications that authorities recently delivered to 213 MMJ businesses that failed to apply for a state license and were operating without local approval, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The letters, some of which were taped to dispensary doors, were sent over the last couple of days, the Free Press reported.

A spokesman for the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs declined to speculate on the motive behind the bogus notifications, although the newspaper noted some people have complained that businesses operating under the temporary rules have an unfair advantage over firms that are closed while awaiting a license.

The Michigan State Police and the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation are investigating the matter and are asking businesses that received the fake letters to contact the agencies. They did not say how many businesses received the fake letters.

A bureau statement urged MMJ business owners to demand identification from anyone claiming to serve a cease-and-desist order. Moving forward, the bureau will send official communications by mail, according to the Free Press.