Got a lawyer in your back pocket? Got your millionaire lined up yet?
After nine years of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, the state has finally rolled out a distribution system for the substance. And while it’s about damn time, it’s not a terrain you want to wander into without a lawyer and a big pile of money.
I’ve heard a few tales of millionaires from faraway places, who don’t know anything about Michigan or marijuana but want to invest in the industry, wandering around the state looking for locals with expertise. But nobody is naming names or revealing their sources to me. Whatever the truth is, it underlies the fact that getting into the marijuana business has reached the intense capitalization phase now that the state’s Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has released the application for the five categories of marijuana businesses it will license.
Just to apply is a costly venture. The application fee is $6,000. The paper application is 47 pages long and includes documentation of things such as the applicant’s tax and financial information for the past three years, background checks on all participants, criminal history, litigation history, other business and property interests, inventory and recordkeeping plans, marketing plans, etc. Even if you apply online, there are some documents for which hard copies are required. I doubt a paper application can come in under 200 pages. Just generating that completed application is going to cost thousands of dollars.
“It’s going to be a lot of information that you have to give them, but I think we’ll be OK,” says Mark Snipes, owner of West Coast Meds in Detroit.
West Coast Meds is a family operation, and Snipes has been struggling to keep it that way. I went by the shop to ask how the state