On Sept. 29th Higher Yields will be holding a Cannabis LIVE Symposium dealing with Government Outreach and Social Equity in your state or community. For more information or to register please visit this link.
Michigan Marijuana Laws & Tips for Winning a License in the Great Lakes State
Michigan Marijuana LawsThe Great Lakes State is the first in the midwest to approve recreational cannabis. On December 6, 2018, Michigan rolled out the first phase of Proposal 1 giving the green light to recreational consumption of marijuana by adults 21 and older. The legal possession limit is 10 ounces and all amounts over 2.5 ounces must be secured in a locked room or container. The state’s primary focus is on protecting children and ensuring that marijuana is something only adults can partake in. For aspiring cannabis business owners, cultivation of up to 12 plants per household is permissible. Also, you may travel with up to 2.5 ounces or 15 grams of concentrate, as long as you steer clear of schools, school buses, correctional facilities, and federal property. Making a gift of up to 2.5 ounces or 15 grams of concentrate is legal. Above all, though, public consumption is strictly outlawed.
Not All Municipalities Are On Board… YetThere’s a cannabis conundrum in many Michigan communities. Despite the fact that the state has voted in favor of allowing cannabis into the Michigan economy, over half of Michigan’s municipalities have decided to opt-out of allowing adult-use marijuana businesses within their borders. At least for now. Some cities and townships view such operations as an opportunity, but others remain unconvinced of their potential net benefit. As Michigan’s opioid drug problem has climbed to the second-worst in the country, lingering misinformation about marijuana may cloud the view of some who worry that sanctioning recreational cannabis could harm their communities. Another tangential issue that is causing a lack of support for the cannabis industry is vaping. Illnesses and deaths tied to vaping have created a new crisis. While research is still being conducted, some blame manufacturers who are cutting corners by using non-natural ingredients in cartridges. Until the vaping issue is sorted out, anticipate that opponents to vaping may offer resistance as you aspire to build a business in the cannabis industry. However, the reluctance of the opted-out municipalities is likely to be short-lived. Many municipal leaders are generally supportive of Proposition 1 in its entirety, but are reticent to jump on board until they see successful implementation elsewhere. Michigan marijuana laws and cannabis business culture currently resemble that of California where 63% of polled voters favor local cannabis stores, but 3/4 of all cities have opted against them. Our prediction: As more states move toward legalization, more communities see the benefit of a cannabis-friendly economy, and federal laws like the Safe Banking Act gain momentum, additional locales will green-light adult-use cannabis commerce.
Open-Season for Licenses Begins This FallAs of November 1st, 2019, Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MMRA) will begin accepting applications for 11 types of licenses available under Michigan marijuana laws. There are 5 tiers of grower’s licenses, along with those for processors, retailers, secure transporters, safety and compliance facilities, event organizers, and consumption establishments. Microbusinesses will occupy one of the grower tiers while straddling the verticals of processing, packaging, and selling to individuals. Though they may not sell to other businesses. Adult-use applicants won’t be subject to the requirement that oblige medical license applicants to provide proof of assets between $150,000 and $500,000 (depending on license type) to qualify. However, medical licensees will enjoy priority consideration if they apply to enter the recreational market. Municipalities – not the state – will determine the total number of licenses they allow. Application and renewal fees are found within Michigan’s Adult-Use Emergency Rules, but some applicants can qualify for discounted fees.
Social Equity & Demographic DiscountsMichigan marijuana laws identify 19 cities as being the most disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. To level the playing field and encourage participation from these communities, the state is offering discounts for license applications and renewals. Per the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website, discounts will be offered in the form of:
- A 25% fee reduction for those who have been a resident of one of the 19 disproportionally impacted communities for the past five years
- An additional 25% fee reduction if the individual(s) holding majority ownership have had a marijuana-related conviction.
- An additional 10% fee reduction if the individual(s) holding majority ownership were registered as primary caregivers for at least two years between 2008 and 2017.