The State Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in Michigan ruled in favor of an extremely disruptive measure in September. According to the bill, all dispensaries that sell medical marijuana have to close their doors before December 15. Those stores that don’t abide are going to be forced to shut down. After this date, the agency will make applications available for business owners to obtain one out of five categories of licenses.
Authorities Decided to Reverse Their September Rule
However, such a state decision was met with overwhelming criticism. The department received hundreds of complaints from owners of a marijuana card. Most of them claimed that this measure would deny them access to their necessary medication for a too long period of time. There are at least 272,000 card holders in Michigan who rely on this new legal therapy to comfort a series of ailments such as cancer or epilepsy.
As a result, the state decided to address the issue raised by the local community. Therefore, authorities endorsed an emergency clause on Wednesday. According to this new rule, all currently operational medical marijuana stores that have gone through any approval process will be able to serve customers on. In the meantime, they are required to obtain the new state licenses.
The director of state’s Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, Andrew Brisbo, claimed that the complaints they received had played a major factor in this rule reversal.
“When we looked at the feedback, especially from people with the greatest difficulty of access, we wanted to ensure that those folks would have access to their medicine.”
The State Will Start Granting Licenses to Medical Marijuana Businesses at the Beginning of 2018
Those stores that will continue to serve local community are not going to benefit any advantage to secure a place in the new regulated market. Instead, they will have same opportunities to go through the licensing process like any other candidate.
The five categories of licenses include growers, testers, processors, secure transporters, and dispensaries. Entities can send their applications starting with December 15. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board will start granting licenses at the beginning of 2018.
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