The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) will begin on March 1, 2021 start accepting forms for adult-use marijuana permits from any candidate. Agencies will no longer have to acquire a medical cannabis business license when applying for the adult-use license. This move is expected to open new opportunities for entrepreneurs interested in Michigan’s retail adult-use marijuana industry.
Read the advisory bulletin here.
The bulletin issued on 6th October 2020 indicates applications for licenses are allowed under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). Until March 1, 2021, the MRA accepts applications only from applicants with an active license offered under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Act (MMFLA) and Michigan residents, depending on their licensure.
On November 13, 2020, the MRA issued a second related bulletin that provides instructions on the adult-use and licensing process application until February 28, 2021. The second bulletin details the application process through the submission of Step 1 prequalification. Included is the unique process depending on the applicants holding licenses under the MMFLA.
Read more about the second bulletin here.
Non-Residents Can Start the Adult-Use Licensing Process
Applicants without the MMFLA operating license can start the MRTMA application process after submitting the Step 1 prequalification application. The process includes financial and criminal background checks. After prequalification, the applicants have to wait until March 1, 2021, before submitting their Step 2 application for a full adult-use license.
Current MMFLA applicants have already undergone the prequalification process and may follow the expedited MRTMA Step 1 process from the MRA. These applicants will then submit the Step 2 applications for a full license before March 1, 2021, if they are ready.
After March 1, 2021, all applicants will have to go through the Step 1 prequalification process. Applicants deemed eligible for the MMFLA license may be expedited through the process since background checks have already been done.
Before the Licensure Change
MRA started accepting licensure applications based on MRTMA on November 1, 2019, but only certain people could apply. Section 9(6) of the MRTMA states that only the following could apply:
- Residents of Michigan who hold a Class A Marihuana Grower or Micro-business license
- Current holders under the MMFLA looking to apply for Processors, Retailers, Secure Transporters, and Class C or B Growers under MRTMA
The restrictions provided business operators who had invested in the development of Michigan’s marijuana industry and supply chain with a competitive advantage. According to the MRTMA, these restrictions were to be enforced for two years after MRA started accepting applications. However, the restrictions were to be removed after 12 months of MRA determining that more state licenses are required to combat the marihuana black market in Michigan.
Michigan’s law enforcement is concerned by the relationship between violent crimes and the illicit marijuana market. The MRA believes these laws will make the market equal in the long-term, reducing users’ need to take part in a dangerous and harmful illicit market.
The new licensure regulation will increase the number of Michigan’s processors, growers, and transporters in the marijuana sector. With the marijuana law MI coming into force from March 2021, expect the marijuana business to get to the next level.