Keeping on top of what is legal and what isn’t in each state is no easy task. It can be a confusing and time-demanding process for individuals and businesses with an interest in cannabis. Ultimately, whether your interest lies in recreational or medical cannabis use, there is no denying that the cannabis market is a complex venture for buyers, sellers, transporters, growers, and everyone else involved in the process.
If you’re in the process of opening a dispensary in DeTour Village or wondering where to buy recreational marijuana in Michigan state, you need to get familiar with the marijuana law MI changes. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) announced in an Advisory Bulletin the licensure changes for medical and recreational marijuana businesses that will come into force from March 2021. Below, we explain the implication of the new licensure process.
A brief summary of the current marijuana law MI
To better understand the new marijuana law in Michigan, you want to review where the restrictions lie in the current licensure system. Medical and recreational marijuana are both legal in Michigan. In 2008, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act implemented a medical marijuana system in the state. In November 2018, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) legalized recreational cannabis, with sales starting officially in December 2019. In 2020, the pandemic delayed the implementation of a system of adult-use sales designed to support legalized consumption and retail.
The use of cannabis in Michigan is legal for adults over the age of 21. However, the law prohibits the use of the substance in public spaces. Consumption of cannabis must be in private, such as within individual residence or at a Designated Consumption Establishment (DCE). It is important to note that in the current legislation, DCE are commercial spaces where consumption is legalized. But, their DCE license doesn’t authorize the owner to engage in selling activities.
Private individuals are authorized to grow up to 12 marijuana plants at their homes, as long as the plants are not visible to the public and for personal use only. They can also transfer up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis to another adult as a bona fide gift – aka without monetary transaction.
If you are going to start a marijuana business, whether for recreational or medical use, you will need to apply for a license. The licensing system affects growers, processors, retailers, and secure transporters, who need to obtain licensing on the medical side or as a microbusiness.
What does the new marijuana law MI update change?
As of March 2021, the MRTMA will begin to implement the new licensure applications. Applications for former microbusiness and prerequisite medical licensing will continue until December 6, 2021.
According to the MRTMA, individuals who want to operate a cannabis operation, need to obtain licensing as part of the necessary legal legwork to establish the company legally.
- Class A grower license or microbusiness license is only available to residents of Michigan.
- Class B or C grower, processor, retailer, or secure transporter licenses require a medical marijuana facility license.
Individuals can apply for multiple licenses simultaneously, so you could, for instance, grow and process marijuana in your commercial facility.
Starting March 1st, 2021, the MRA will start accepting license applications from any applicant. The requirements for class A grower, microbusiness, class B or C grower, processor, retailer, and secure transporter licenses are affected by the change. What does the marijuana law MI mean?
- Michigan residency requirement will cease.
- Medical marijuana facility license requirement will cease.
Any individual can apply for an adult-use marijuana establishment license in Michigan.
What can you expect from the law update?
The MRA is taking down restrictive licensure models to make marijuana businesses more accessible. The effort will tackle the competitive advantages that some business operators have enjoyed.
Law enforcement in Michigan has always been concerned by the alarming correlation between the marijuana illicit market and violent crimes, including marijuana-related non-fatal shooting and narcotics-related homicides. The MRA believes that the marijuana law MI changes will make the market more equitable in the long term, reducing the need for a harmful and dangerous illicit market.
Additionally, the change in licensing could see establishments dedicated to recreational consumption hold a retailer role within their community. To come back to the recreational dispensary in DeTour Village, as of March 2021, the business could face competition from DCE applying for a retailer license or from individuals wishing to grow and sell their marijuana.
The new licensure regulation will also see an increase in growers, processors, and transporters in the marijuana sector in Michigan.
With the marijuana law MI coming into force from March 2021, you might find yourself wondering how to bring your marijuana business to the next level. Get in touch with a team of expert marijuana lawyers to embark safely on the journey and leverage the licensure changes to grow your presence.