Michigan is planning to adopt a new, tiered policy structure that will change its medical cannabis program, including the implementation of a new licensing fee structure.
According to Mlive.com, state regulators plan to cut costs for most of the 252 medical cannabis businesses in the state, but could possibly raise fees for a few of them as well. This is expected to go into effect starting Oct. 1.
Medical cannabis businesses will soon pay licensing fees relative to their sizes, allowing smaller businesses to save money. For growers and processors, fee rates will depend on the weight of their product, and fees for retailers will be based on gross total sales. Provisioning centers will see decreased renewal fees, but the biggest cultivators in the state will see an increase. “We want to make the fees reasonably related to the size of the operation, so businesses are paying an equitable share,” said Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) Director Andrew Brisbo.
“We try to set the fees simply to offset the fees of our agency and the other costs built in from the MMFLA (Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act),” he added.
This new system will help provide more equity between businesses, and stop small, mom-and-pop dispensaries and growers from struggling to pay hefty fees. Medical cannabis businesses are still required to prove that they have a specific amount of money in the bank in order to maintain their licenses.
Between January and June 2019, the MRA collected an estimated $10.9 million in fees obtained from applications and licensing. According to Mlive.com, the MRA spent around $14.2 million to manage the program as a whole.
Michigan legislators have been making a concerted effort to make their cannabis industry fair for all. They recently introduced a social equity program to help produce legal cannabis business and they have also proposed wiping past cannabis convictions. This is another way the industry is growing and thriving in Michigan, paving the way for a bright future.