Michigan bills would keep MMJ dispensaries open during licensing

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Two bills going before Michigan lawmakers would allow medical marijuana dispensaries currently operating to remain open while they move through a new state licensing process.

The measures run contrary to a proposal by the state’s MMJ regulatory agency that all retailers must close by Dec. 15 until they receive new business permits.

The bills, by Rep. Yousef Rabhi and Sen. David Knezek, were motivated by a desire to protect MMJ patients and their suppliers, Mlive.com reported.

“We can’t go back in time. Here in Michigan, we have something very important: safe access. And while the legislation that was passed in 2016 changes the landscape, we can’t let this intermediary period disrupt what we’ve built here in the state,” Rabhi said.

Rabhi’s bill has already been introduced, while Knezek’s is on the way. The two said they have bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is still working to finalize MMJ industry regulations, which it hopes will be done sometime in November. That timeline would allow the agency to begin issuing business permits sometime in March or April.