Michigan aims to issue first medical marijuana permits before June 15

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It’ll be about another month and a half before the state of Michigan begins issuing medical cannabis business licenses.

That’s according to Andrew Brisbo, director of the Michigan Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.

He told the Detroit Free Press he hopes the first such permits will be handed out within six weeks.

If that doesn’t happen, however, the 215 dispensaries that currently are operating legally will have to temporarily close June 15 under state law and stay shuttered until they do receive licenses.

“We’re focusing on processing as many of the applications as possible” before then, Brisbo told the newspaper.

A key hurdle in obtaining a state permit is to first get some sort of local approval or permit.

Brisbo’s agency has received 459 applications from companies that don’t yet meet that standard and another 175 that do. The 175 include 66 growers, 25 processors, 74 dispensaries, six transporters and four testing labs, the Free Press reported.

Delays in processing business license applications has been a concern for months, but part of the problem is simply the time it takes to perform required background checks on staffers for every company that applied for a permit.

One company, for example, has 39 employees that must be cleared by the state to work at a cannabis business.