LANSING (WXYZ) – Lately the discussion about marijuana in Michigan has centered on legalization of recreational use, but a deadline looms for medicinal dispensaries and other related businesses that could cause chaos.
Back in 2016 legislation passed in Michigan that allowed for medical marijuana businesses on a larger scale than what had previously been allowed. All of the sudden, medical marijuana wasn’t a person-to-person business relying on caregivers to distribute medical marijuana.
Up until now medical marijuana related-businesses have operated in a gray area. In most cases, the businesses had permission to run from municipalities, but the state of Michigan wasn’t allowing it. It sounds confusing, but it’s much like a local version of states that allow marijuana while it remains illegal on a Federal level.
“Folks who were operating before this law were operating with local authorization, not state authorization,” said David Harns, a spokesperson for Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). “We made allowances so we wouldn’t cause an impediment to their licensure as long as they had approval at the local level to operate.”
What’s important to note is that if a business isn’t licensed by June 15th, they shouldn’t be open per Michigan’s new rules. Businesses were required to apply earlier this year, but none have been licensed due to the lengthy background checks and financial paperwork regulators have to complete for each business. It’s set up an odd deadline for businesses that were operating with local approval from municipalities that now have to ask, ‘What’s next?’
“LARA has realized the process is arduous,” said Harns, when asked whether businesses are at risk of raids if they pass the June 15th deadline. “It’s long. We’re not referring people to law enforcement — as long as they’ve turned in their application to the state, as