LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan regulators said Thursday that they ordered the closure of 210 medical marijuana businesses over a two-week period, largely because their owners failed to apply for a state license by a mid-February deadline or did not receive authorization from their municipalities.
Most of the shops — 158 — were in Detroit. Authorities also hand-delivered orders to eight businesses in Lansing, seven in Flint, five in Gaylord, three each in Ann Arbor and Battle Creek, and smaller numbers elsewhere.
Shops that did not close immediately could be denied a license down the line if they apply, be referred to local, state or federal law enforcement, or face other penalties or sanctions.
“If they feel like they received a letter in error, we obviously have an open form of communication with them.”
David Harns, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
“We had our team scour publicly available information to create a list and then we cross-referenced it with those who did turn in applications,” said David Harns, spokesman for the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which includes the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation.
The cease-and-desist orders come as the state continues the process of more tightly regulating the medical cannabis industry under a 2016 law that aimed in part to address confusion surrounding the legality of dispensary shops that opened after voters in 2008 authorized marijuana for medical use. The new law includes a 3 percent tax on provisioning centers.
Initial licenses to grow, process, sell, transport or test cannabis will be issued by June 15.
Michigan Shutters 40 Unlicensed Medical Marijuana Businesses
Some 215 businesses that submitted a prequalification license application had the appropriate sign-off from a local clerk attesting that they can operate temporarily while awaiting a