More than 400 application received in three months; more than 200 Cease and Desist letters delivered to shut down existing dispensaries in Michigan
LANSING- At a March 22 meeting of the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, the Director of the Michigan Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) delivered a statistical update on the rollout of the state’s new medical marijuana business program.
The Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) has, in three months, racked up more than four hundred paid applications.
“As of yesterday we now have 411 paid pre-qualification applications on file. 215 of those came in with the Attestation E regarding temporary continued operation,” BMMR Director Andrew Brisbo advised the Board and the crowd in attendance.
The MMFLA regulates business in the cultivation, processing, distribution, transport and testing of medical cannabis industries. A completed application requires both a pre-qualification application, where the business owners are checked for criminal history and financial fitness, and a license application, which describes the business and its physical location.
“In terms of licensing applications, we now have received 9 Class A grows; 2 Class B grows; 46 Class C grows; 21 processors; 57 provisioning centers (dispensaries); 2 secure transporters; and 4 safety compliance facilities.”
Class A growing licenses allow a business to grow up to 500 plants; a Class B license, up to 1,000; and an Class C license, up to 1,500 plants.
“We are also tracking municipalities that have adopted ordinances to opt in to the MMFLA,” Director Brisbo said. “Our count is now 72, but that is unofficial.”
Those ordinances are a crucial part of the MMFLA application process. Any business in the five named industries which was open and operating before the MMFLA application process began can remain open and retail cannabis to certified medical patients if they met two steps by February 15: apply to the state and have that Attestation E letter from their city. The letter tells the state that the community has an enabling ordinance and the proposed business has been pre-approved by the municipal government.
On Thursday, March 15, the BMMR began serving Cease and Desist notices to known businesses across the state which failed to complete these steps by the due date. Within one week LARA agents had delivered more than two hundred notices to Michigan businesses, with more on the way.
“The Department in conjunction with the Michigan State Police served cease and desist notices from the Department to over 200 locations throughout the state through Wednesday and that will continue into the next week,” Director Brisbo said during the Licensing Board meeting.
“There’s a number of collectives that have been set up to work around and violate the MMFLA and are also in violation of the 2008 MMMA law,” asked Don Bailey. “Did those collectives – I know Genesee County has several of them – have they been served that same cease and desist?”
“Any location we identified as operating in a capacity that will require a license under the act will be served that notice,” Director Brisbo replied.
“We did receive reports from our agents in the field that a number of facilities were voluntarily shutting down,” as a result of the Cease and Desist campaign, Director Brisbo added later.