The medical marijuana industry is poised to explode with new state regulations and taxes on the dispensaries that will sell the weed. Kathleen Gray/Detroit Free Press
Dave Wilson cares for marijuana plants at the Ataraxia cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Federal lawmakers could change pot’s status as a drug with no medical purpose. Several states already legalize it for medicinal use.(Photo: Seth Perlman/Associated Press)
The state is opening up the medical marijuana business to big-time grow operations, according to an advisory released Thursday.
When the Legislature passed medical marijuana bills last year, it created three classes of licenses for growers: Class A – up to 500 plants; Class B – up to 1,000 plants, and Class C – up to 1,500 plants.
The rules advisory released this week, however, specifies that one person or business can apply for as many of the Class C licenses as they want, opening up Michigan’s market to mega growers.
“The stacking of class C grow licenses is a more efficient way for LARA (the state department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) to keep track of large grows in the state,” said LARA spokesman David Harns. “Stacking will also allow businesses to operate more efficiently, which in turn will allow for a better consumer experience.”
But some potential growers believe the ruling will squeeze the smaller operators out of Michigan’s lucrative medical marijuana industry.
“They’re doing everything they can do to shut down the mom and pops,” said Jason Durham, a medical marijuana cardholder and caregiver, who grows pot for five patients, but hopes