Three additional pre-qualification applications for medical marijuana businesses in Michigan were approved Thursday morning, but some in the industry remain concerned the process is not moving fast enough.
At its Thursday meeting, Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board approved pre-qualification applications for Capital Transport, LLC, Great Lakes Cultivations, LLC, and Thrive Enterprises, LLC.
The board has yet to fully approve any licenses for marijuana dispensaries or associated businesses, as pre-qualified applicants must also undergo a facility review to determine if the building housing the business is up to code.
As of April 27, 459 applications have been submitted for pre-qualification, and 175 facility license applications have been submitted. Two businesses were denied licenses by the board and have the opportunity to appeal the decision.
Board Chair Rick Johnson said although it wasn’t easy to get the ball rolling on considering applications, the process is becoming more streamlined.
“From my perspective, everything is moving much smoother and easier,” Johnson said. “Today, even though we only had three, we’re starting to move in a direction where we’ll move a lot more.”
Earlier this week, Andrew Brisbo, director of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, said the lengthy investigation required to determine eligibility for applicants and the number of applications that came in so close to the Feb. 15 deadline for existing facilities to apply have contributed to bottlenecks in the process.
That’s given many existing marijuana businesses in Michigan cause for concern, as the bureau initially set June 15 as the deadline for dispensaries and other marijuana businesses in the application process to either have a license or close shop.
State officials have said they won’t pursue action against businesses that continue operation past the deadline, but staying open past June 15 could put existing businesses at risk if the board decides continued operations renders them ineligible