Michigan’s new regulated medical cannabis market has been a rollercoaster of a ride, from ominous regulation changes to sudden dispensary crackdowns. Dispensaries that have not yet obtained their state licenses can now breathe a sigh of relief, as Michigan officials extend cannabis license deadlines.
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced on May 30 that it is extending the deadline for state-level licenses through Sept. 15. The new emergency rules were enacted due to the enormous amount of businesses that are struggling to get licensed in time to remain open.
The deadline extension helps out licenses applicants, and the officials that approve them. “Extending the deadline to September 15th will make sure that this law is implemented correctly and assure that potential licensees are thoroughly reviewed. It is important that we ensure that medical marihuana patients have continued access to their medicine,” LARA Director Shelly Edgerton stated.
License applicants who turned in their state application by the February 15th deadline and are awaiting a state license had faced a quickly-approaching June 15 deadline to shut down or risk being denied approval from the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board for continued activity. But the June 15 deadline was extended to provide a reasonable amount of time.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed the emergency rules on May 30, and they become effective immediately. They will remain in effect for six months. The extension, lasting over 90 days, will give the ruling agencies enough time to investigate and authorize state licenses, while ensuring consistent access to medical cannabis.
License applicants, however, must cease operation if they have not been issued a license by Sept. 15, 2018. Any unlicensed operation after that date is considered illegal.
The new emergency rules also include clarifications on safety testing requirements, among other provisions. The new rules will allow some Michigan-based cannabis businesses to breathe a sigh of relief—many of those businesses faced an uncertain future.