The Reef, a medical marijuana dispensary in Detroit, offers about 60 different strains in September 2017.(Photo: Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo
Forty medical marijuana businesses across Michigan got an unpleasant visit Thursday from state officials and the Michigan State Police, ordering them to stop operating.
And those visits are just the beginning. Hundreds more are expected to get cease and desist letters in the coming days.
The state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs began the process of shutting down medical marijuana facilities that are operating illegally and haven’t submitted applications to the state for a license.
“Any business that didn’t apply for a license by Feb. 15 isn’t in compliance with the emergency rules that were set up,” said David Harns, spokesman for the department. “We did 40 today all throughout the state and there will be hundreds more.”
Harns wouldn’t say what kind of businesses got the cease and desist letters or how the state had identified them, but most were probably dispensaries that have been operating outside of Michigan’s medical marijuana laws.
The emergency rules “permits an applicant for a state operating license to temporarily operate a proposed marijuana facility under certain conditions,” the cease and desist letter read. “In order to comply with this rule, a temporarily operating facility must have applied for a state operating license by February 15. … A person that does not comply with this rule shall cease and desist operation of a proposed marijuana facility.”
If the business owner doesn’t shut down, he or she risks not being able to get a license at all from the state, the letter said, and could also result in a