by Rick Thompson/December 15, 2017
LANSING- December 15 is the day many in Michigan have been waiting for- the official start of the applications process to become a state-regulated businesses handling marijuana.
Applications can be submitted electronically or via paper applications.
LARA is the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; their entity, the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) is specifically charged with all aspects of maintaining the medical marijuana program in Michigan, including the Medical Marihuana Facilties Licensing Act (MMFLA).
The availability of the applications and rules were delayed repeatedly during the last two months. The MMFLA’s Emergency Rules were to be published in the fall, then by Thanksgiving, then by December 1 and were eventually made available on December 4th. Applications were published just one week ago, December 8th. Even after issuing the rules LARA published a revision to them on December 12.
The revision “to limit the scope — and provide clarification — regarding those persons who must submit a Supplemental Applicant Prequalification Packet,” per the press release announcing the revision.
Persons required to submit a Supplemental Applicant Prequalification Packet (SAPP) for certain disclosures have been revised:
Persons listed on DISCLOSURE 2B or 2B-SA who, directly or indirectly, own any financial interest in the applicant must submit an SAPP.
Persons identified as an officer, director, or managerial employee on Disclosure 2E or 2E-SA must submit an SAPP.
Disclosure 2C-SA has been removed from the Supplemental Applicant Prequalification Packet and is not required to be completed by supplemental applicants.
Applications are being accepted for the five different business types described by the legislature in the language of the MMFLA: cultivators, transporters, processors, testing labs and retail dispensaries. Michigan’s existing medical marijuana dispensaries, some of which have been open since 2009, are in jeopardy. At the beginning of 2017 there were hundreds open in the state; as the year closes the number may be only one hundred.
“…Right now, the state has no idea how many medical marijuana dispensaries there are in Michigan,” said the same state representative in a different interview. Municipalities and Michigan State Police have cracked down on the operation of locally-approved but not state-sanctioned medical cannabis businesses. LARA, the BMMR and members of the Licensing Board have made continuously contradictory statements regarding the future of those uncounted existing dispensaries. In the latest edict, the BMMR has determined that distribution centers which remain open after December 15th, 2017 must apply for licensing before February 15, 2018 or face a forced shutdown.
A November 2nd Advisory Bulletin declared, “Unlicensed activity may result in a referral to law enforcement for unlicensed activity. The Department may forward any or all unlicensed activity to the Departments of the State Police and Attorney General.
Applying in person with a paper application? The BMMR has issued rules.
Applicants who are interested in applying in person may do so at the Ottawa Building in downtown Lansing during normal business hours beginning at 8:00am, Monday through Friday. Applicants will enter the building from the south (courtyard) side of the building. The Ottawa Building is located at 611 W. Ottawa, Lansing, MI 48933. There will be signs directing applicants to the courtyard entrance of the Ottawa Building.
Credit cards, money orders, checks and cash will be acceptable methods to pay the application fee. Applicants paying in cash must pay the exact amount as there will be no change given.
Applying online with an electronic form? Register for an account with the state’s electronic form submission protocol HERE.
Still confused? The BMMR has issued a huge FAQ listing which is available HERE.
LARA has created a CHANGE PLANT POSSESSION form. It is located HERE.
Why is marijuana spelled with an H in some state documents? The answer is HERE.
Who is defined as a “true party of interest” in the MMFLA program? The answer lies HERE.