Michigan gave time, now takes time from medical cannabis license applicants

After adding months to its medical marijuana licensing deadline, Michigan is now taking away 45 days with little explanation, requiring MMJ businesses to have their new state operating licenses by Oct. 31 or close.

Only 19 dispensaries have been approved so far under the new, stricter regulatory regime, but state MMJ program spokesman David Harns told Marijuana Business Daily that a “robust agenda” is expected for the licensing board’s Oct. 18 meeting.

Experts and advocates have been concerned that the transition to the new system still could be rocky, with possible disruptions in supply and access.

Here’s the latest information on the issue:

  • A group of 108 existing MMJ businesses – the vast majority of which are dispensaries – had filed their facility license application (Step 2) by June 15 and are the most likely to be considered for state licenses on Oct. 18.
  • A group of 98 applicants that failed to file Step 2 by June 15 are “almost certainly not going to” have their applications reviewed at the Oct. 18 meeting, according to the state’s emergency rules published Monday. Those businesses had been ordered to close Sept. 15 but received a reprieve by a judge.

Harns cited the court decision as the reason for the new deadline because the judge required the state to stop treating MMJ businesses differently.

The new emergency rules, Harns noted, “have the same deadline for all temporary operators, regardless of when they filed their Step 2 application.”

Under the emergency rules:

  • MMJ businesses have to cease operation if they haven’t been issued a state operating license by Oct. 31.
  • Applicants that have received their state licenses must record, tag and package all their marijuana products in accordance with the state’s monitoring system by Nov. 30.
  • Growers or processors are required to comply with all testing requirements by Nov. 30 to transfer marijuana products to the new system.
  • Dispensaries can sell untested product until Nov. 30 with the written acknowledgement of caregivers/patients. After that, the old product must be destroyed.

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