In 2018, Proposal 1 in Michigan legalized the use of recreational marijuana, made possession up to certain amounts legal, and got the ball rolling on the marijuana industry in the state. Today, many enterprising people want to find out of running a dispensary or another marijuana business could be profitable for them. When you’re starting any business, you might wonder about the benefits of using a lawyer. This goes double for when you’re entering such a new industry, where there have been recent changes to the law. While you don’t legally need to have a lawyer to get a dispensary license in Michigan, the real question is whether hiring an attorney will help you.
The process of applying for and gaining approval for a dispensary license is a complex one. There are a lot of rules to understand and many obligations that you need to meet. You could attempt to do it alone, but this increases the chance that you will get something wrong. When you hire a lawyer who knows the industry, it can make the process of setting up your dispensary and getting the right license a lot easier. You can make sure that you check off all of the right legal boxes and that the expensive process of launching a dispensary business is completed correctly.
Getting a Dispensary License in Michigan
If you want to start a marijuana dispensary business in Michigan, you need to pay attention to a variety of regulations and compliance issues. Not only do you need to understand the law now, but as the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana has only recently been made legal, you also need to keep up with the changing laws. This is why it’s important to have a lawyer on your side, and especially one who is familiar with the steps necessary to get a dispensary license.
There are several stages to obtaining a license, including a prequalification phase, where you will need to fill out necessary documents and complete a background check. If you pass this stage, the license qualification phase will then need to be completed. During this stage, you need to provide more information about the license(s) that you’re seeking. To open a dispensary, you need to apply for a Medical Marihuana Facilities License. This covers all kinds of activities, including growers, transport lab testing, dispensing, and more.
To get a license for your chosen location, it needs to be 1,000 feet away from liquor stores, other dispensaries, and drug-free zones. You could reduce your license fees by applying for one of the locations that are part of the Social Equity Program. In addition to the location, there are many other things to consider when setting up a dispensary. Your company model, investors, and partners can all play into whether you are approved for a license. Everyone, including employees, will be background checked. You will also need to submit a site plan for your business.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Hiring a lawyer to help you apply for your dispensary license in Michigan will help you to understand the relevant laws and comply with them. Your lawyer can assist you through the whole process so that you don’t miss anything.
The key Michigan laws to be aware of include:
- Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA)
- The communities that have opted out of allowing any MRTMA licensed facilities
- Michigan’s Marijuana Tracking Act
- Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act
There are several requirements that all dispensary owners need to meet to be approved for a license. These are:
- No felony within ten years
- No misdemeanors involving controlled substances within five years
- No local ordinance violations within five years
- Must be 21 years old
- Any past issue with law enforcement or legal violations (except for traffic violations)
Working with a lawyer who knows everything about the industry, the laws surrounding it, and the changes that are rapidly occurring will help you to navigate the process of applying for and getting approved for a dispensary license. While it’s not required to have a lawyer, it would perhaps be unwise to attempt the process without one. When you hire an attorney to help you, you can get all of the legal advice and support that you need to achieve your business goals. Our services can make the process easier to handle, ensuring you have the correct legal advice and know what to expect.