Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board held its third public meeting on September 12, 2017, as medical marijuana patients anxiously awaited the fate of currently operating dispensaries. At the Board’s August 21, 2017 meeting, Board Member Donald Bailey introduced a motion to shut down currently operating dispensaries. The motion was tabled until the September 12th meeting, but any drama surrounding an immediate shutdown of existing dispensaries was quashed before the meeting even got started.
A few hours before the Board’s September 12th meeting, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (commonly known as “LARA”) issued a press release following consultation with the Attorney General indicating that the Board does not have the authority to shut down currently operating dispensaries and that LARA—not the Board—is responsible for producing the rules that will govern marijuana facilities. LARA has taken the position that it will not take any action against currently operating dispensaries at this time, but if these businesses continue to operate after December 15, 2017 that their continued operation will be viewed “as a potential impediment to licensure.” December 15, 2017 marks the first date that LARA will begin accepting applications for licensure under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.
Practically speaking, LARA’s announcement means that currently operating dispensaries that are seeking to obtain a license to continue to operate should begin the process of winding up their business affairs and cease activity by December 15, 2017. If they continue to operate after December 15, 2017, LARA or the Board may decide to automatically disqualify these businesses from receiving a license.
In addition, Board Member Bailey indicated during the September 12th meeting that he believes all currently operating dispensaries to be operating in violation of state law and that he would oppose granting licenses for any marijuana business that is still in operation after September 15, 2017.
Medical marijuana patients and caregivers who currently utilize dispensaries should begin to make alternate arrangements to ensure an uninterrupted supply of medicine. Studies have shown that medical marijuana is responsible for approximately a 25% decrease in opioid abuse related deaths. In addition, patients suffering from chronic pain overwhelmingly prefer medical marijuana to opioid-based pain medication.
If you are interested in applying for a license for a medical marijuana business or have questions about Michigan’s medical marijuana laws, contact the experienced medical marijuana attorneys at Grewal Law PLLC today.
With more than 25 years of experience, Mick Grewal has the skills and knowledge to help his clients accomplish their goals, whether such pursuits involve sexual assualt advocacy, personal injury or medical malpractice matters. Founder and managing partner of Grewal Law, Mr. Grewal prides himself on providing full-service legal help to families in the greater area of Lansing, Michigan.