Local officials are beginning to decide if they want medical marijuana businesses in their communities before the state starts giving out licenses next year. Wochit
Medical marijuana being grown in Warren.(Photo: William Archie, Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo
LANSING — Existing medical marijuana dispensaries will get a reprieve from getting immediately shuttered, but they could harm their chance for a license from the state if they continue to operate past Dec. 15, the state Department of Licensing and Regulation said today.
At a meeting, Andrew Brisbo, director of the state’s Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, told the board that will start handing out medical pot business licenses next year that the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has the sole authority to set the rules that govern the dispensaries now and in the future.
“The department will not shut down dispensaries, but it will be a business risk for them to continue to operate because they could be shut down by law enforcement and it could be an impediment to getting a license,” Brisbo said.
LARA, in consultation with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, said the department will put emergency rules in place and that any dispensary that is operating after Dec. 15 — the date the state will begin accepting applications for licenses — will jeopardize its chance for a lucrative state license in the future.
“This approach will allow existing operations to wind down while also giving adequate time for patients to establish connections to caregivers to help ensure continuity of access,” LARA said in a statement.