Michigan’s chief regulatory affairs agency is giving the state’s unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries until Dec. 15 to “wind down” their operations.

Continuing to operate after Dec. 15 would be “a potential impediment to licensure,” Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs threatened in a news release.

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Dec. 15 is significant because it’s the day Michigan regulators will start accepting applications for business licenses to operate under the state’s new MMJ regulations.

The agency also said it will work with the state attorney general’s office to draft emergency rules it expects to submit in November. Those rules would establish regulatory policies that include the application and licensing process, fee structure and how to deal with rogue operators, according to the release.

Closing and then applying for a new license – with no guarantee of receiving one – may not seem like a great deal to dispensary owners.

It is, however, arguably more palatable then an alternative proposal, supported by two of five members on the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board – to immediately shutter currently operational dispensaries until the state issues the new licenses.

The state licensing board, however, ruled that only it has the authority to shut down dispensaries, the Detroit Free Press reported.