Even though the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board approved licenses for 14 more cannabis businesses on Monday, another 215 are facing closure as a Wednesday deadline looms.
The 215 marijuana businesses have been operating under temporary emergency rules that expire on Halloween. Those businesses, mostly dispensaries and many in Detroit, will receive cease and desist letters on Thursday and must close if they want to have any chance of getting a license in the future. The state isn’t sure whether all of the 215 businesses are actually still operating and should have a list of the businesses that will have to shut down next week.
The state set the deadline as a means to get the medical marijuana market fully functioning and force those businesses that have submitted incomplete applications to either get in the rest of their documentation and join the fully regulated and taxed market for legal medical weed or shut down.
“We’ve been diligently working through this backlog from the very beginning,” said Andrew Brisbo, director of the state’s Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. “One of the greatest frustrations with this process is, without a firm deadline in place, we don’t get responses from the applicants, especially from the temporary operators who appear to want to stay in the game as long as possible” without being regulated or taxed.
The licensing board has approved enough licenses — 37 dispensaries, 12 growers, eight processors, three transport companies and four testing facilities — that patients should have access to medical marijuana somewhat close to home, Brisbo said. But dispensaries also are worried that it takes a while for a grow operation to produce sellable product, leaving them without much supply.
The Reef, a popular medical marijuana dispensary on 8 Mile, is one of the businesses that will have to close until at least the next board meeting on Nov. 8.
“The Reef fully expects to be on the Nov. 8th agenda,” said Rush Hasan, director of business development for the dispensary. “We understand this is a process and LARA (the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) is doing everything in their power to maintain the integrity of this process.”
"The local market will be far more limited in access to medical cannabis, not only due to licensed (dispensaries) not opening, but more so the amount of time it takes for growers and processors to fulfill orders," he added. "Processors need an additional three-four months on top of the six months growers take to finalize product."
The licensing board approved licenses for eight dispensaries: one each in Jackson, Burton, Omer, Ann Arbor and Pinconning and three in Detroit, three processors in Frederic, Pinconning and Jackson, and three licenses for large grow operations in Au Gres.
It also denied 12 dispensary applications: one each in Jackson, Bay City, River Rouge and Ypsilanti, two in Flint and six in Detroit; one processor, and two growers.
“We looked at financial ability and experience and some had some tax history issues,” Brisbo said of the businesses that were denied on Monday.
So far, 804 applications have been received by the state, 120 have been approved, 79 have been denied and 16 have been put on inactive status because the applicants haven’t turned in necessary information in a timely manner.
Kathleen Gray covers the marijuana industry for the Detroit Free Press. Contact her: 313-223-4430, email@example.com or on Twitter @michpoligal.
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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/marijuana-dispensaries-without-licenses-to-be-ordered-shut-down/ar-BBP58Et658