Michigan Rules Coming! Advisory Bulletin Round-Up

Michigan Rules Coming! Advisory Bulletin Round-Up

Michigan Rules Coming! Advisory Bulletin Round-Up

by Hilary Vigil

Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has announced that the emergency rules to govern activities under the State’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) will be forthcoming this week! The agenda for the November 28 meeting of the State’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (Board) lists “Emergency Rules” as the first item for LARA’s report. Live streaming of the meeting, which starts at 12:30 pm, may be accessed here.

Although the State’s emergency rules are being released a very short time before the December 15 date on which the State must begin accepting license applications, we do not anticipate that the emergency rules will be all that detailed. Instead, we anticipate that Michigan’s emergency rules will focus on only the most critical issues concerning the applications, as well as issues regarding operations of the facilities. We do, however, anticipate the State continuing to issue Advisory Bulletins to provide further guidance on issues that arise. (We also sincerely hope that all of the application forms will be released next week.)

Indeed, as the State has been crafting the emergency rules, LARA has also been busy issuing Advisory Bulletins, with four out so far this month.

Last week, LARA released two Advisory Bulletins—one on license fees and another on the process for medical marihuana caregivers and patients who must relinquish that status to become licensees or employees at certain licensed facilities.

In the Advisory Bulletin on license fees, LARA explained the two state fees and one local fee put in place by the MMFLA. All three fees are nonrefundable.

Applicants will first pay the State an application fee in the amount of $6,000 at the time the application is filed. This fee is fixed for each application, so an entity seeking three grow licenses, a processing license, and a provisioning center license would need to pay $30,000. The State will accept cash.

Once an application has been approved, the applicant will have to pay a regulatory assessment before the license is issued. LARA did not announce the amount of the annual regulatory assessment, but said that, because the amount will change annually, “the new fee level will be announced by LARA prior to the start of the new fiscal year.” LARA will presumably set this fee for the first year after the State has a better sense as to how many licenses are likely to be issued. (LARA previously estimated the assessment at somewhere between $10,000 and $57,000.) Only licensees have to pay the assessment—applicants who are denied a license do not have to pay the fee.

In addition to the two state fees, a municipality may collect a local license fee of up to $5,000 from applicants who propose to open a facility in the municipality.

In the Advisory Bulletin on the transition for caregivers and patients, LARA set out who will be required to withdraw from the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP) registry. Under the MMFLA, licensed growers and processors cannot be registered primary caregivers or employ registered caregivers—even though the MMFLA requires grower and processor licensees (or an employee) to have at least two years’ previous experience as a caregiver. LARA intends to deal with this issue by requiring all employees and “affiliates” of licensed facilities to cancel their caregiver registrations within five days of issuance of the applicable license or date of employment. The State will supply “Withdrawal Forms.”

For secure transporters, an applicant or investor cannot be either a registered caregiver or patient. To comply with the MMFLA, LARA will require that any such applicant or investor “must withdraw from the MMMP registry prior to submitting an application for a secure transporter license.” Neither provisioning centers nor safety compliance facilities are subject to rules on the registered status of their licensees, employees, or affiliates, so no withdrawal from the MMMP registry is required for those two facility types.

Finally, earlier in the month, LARA released an Advisory Bulletin on capitalization requirements. Those who have been following the issue will recall that the initial announcement of capitalization requirements at a Board meeting led to extremely spirited public comment. Activists worried that high capitalization requirements would freeze legitimate participants out of the market.

LARA’s newest announcement on capitalization requirements did not change the required amounts—but it did clarify that only 25 percent of the requirement must be met by liquid assets. Further, LARA defined liquid assets to include not just cash and financial instruments but actual marihuana inventory—so long as the inventory is compliant with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. As for the rest of the capital requirement, it can be satisfied by other assets, such as equipment, real estate, or even supplies. The only caveat is that the amounts and sources must be validated by an accountant’s attestation.

Apart from the above Advisory Bulletins, LARA also made a major announcement about how incumbent businesses may continue to operate while pursuing licensure, a stunning about-face from months of drama about how and when such facilities would be forced to close. That Advisory Bulletin and announcement will be the subject of a separate post, as LARA’s position has continued to evolve and questions about the transition into the regulated model continue to arise.

Remember that LARA’s Advisory Bulletins are temporary advice only. While the bulletins outline emerging policies that LARA intends to codify in its emergency rules, the policies are subject to change before the rules are finalized.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.


Published at Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Michigan Continues to Fine-Tune How Marihuana Businesses Can Operate Before Licensure

Michigan Continues to Fine-Tune How Marihuana Businesses Can Operate Before Licensure

Michigan Continues to Fine-Tune How Marihuana Businesses Can Operate Before Licensure

co-authored by Hilary Vigil

Earlier this month, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (“LARA”) announced that its forthcoming emergency rules will allow existing unlicensed medical marihuana businesses to continue to operate while they seek licenses under the new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”). LARA’s announcement was a surprising reversal of its earlier proposed policy that continued operation after December 15, 2017, would harm an applicant’s chances to receive a license.

LARA’s announcement came by press release, accompanied by an “FAQ” document, and was followed by an Advisory Bulletin the next day. Even with the release of three informational documents, though, LARA’s change in policy left many uncertainties as to how the policy would be implemented. LARA has now quietly issued an updated FAQ sheet to address at least some of those uncertainties.

As anyone following this issue knows, this has been a fluid and rapidly evolving situation, where LARA, members of the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (the “Board”), and the Michigan Legislature all have expressed divergent views. LARA’s new policy also comes at a time when LARA is simultaneously completing emergency rules and putting the finishing touches on an application process that opens in less than three weeks—creating a whole new regulated industry from scratch in less than a year after the MMFLA took effect. Accordingly, it should come as no surprise that LARA’s press release, FAQ, and Advisory Bulletin appeared to create as many questions as they provided answers.

Overview of Conditions for Continued Operation

First, the basics. In September, amid controversy after some Board members stated that they would not vote to give a license to businesses that had opened without one, LARA announced that those businesses had until December 15 to close. If they did not, their continued operation would be an “impediment to licensure.” This led to hours of contentious Board meetings, with patients and dispensary owners arguing that patients would be without access to critical products (especially extracts and edibles) for the months until product began to move through the new regulated system. In response, legislators in both chambers introduced bipartisan bills to provide for temporary licensure.

LARA’s decision to create a path to licensure for those medical marihuana businesses that wish to remain open during the transition period is a direct response to patient concerns. Under the new approach, LARA’s emergency rules will provide that continued operation of an unlicensed facility is not an impediment to licensure—subject to the following primary conditions:

  • By December 15, the host municipality has adopted an ordinance allowing the activity, either a pre-MMFLA ordinance or a new MMFLA ordinance, and the applicant submits an attestation by the clerk along with its state license application.
  • The applicant applies for state licensure by February 15, 2018.
  • The applicant can then operate without a state license until the earlier of its state license application being denied or June 15, 2018.
  • If and when the applicant is granted a state license, the applicant must then comply with all MMFLA rules and regulations.

LARA was careful to say that operating without a license under these conditions is not “legal” under Michigan law. Operation during this interim period is instead a “business risk” for the operator—just as it is for those dispensaries operating today.

Ambiguities and Uncertainties

Apart from the fact that LARA’s safe harbor for existing medical marihuana businesses really isn’t one, LARA’s pronouncements left a lot of significant grey areas, including:

(1) When must a facility be open to qualify for “continued operation” treatment? LARA’s original press release and FAQ document could be read to say that the applicant must be open by December 15—but could also be read to say that only the municipal ordinance must be in place by December 15. LARA’s revised FAQ document deleted what could have been interpreted as a requirement that the facility must have operated “prior to December 15,” meaning LARA need only look to the municipality having an ordinance in place by that date. Theoretically, LARA’s policy now opens the door to applicants opening early—if they can satisfy the municipal ordinance requirement and wish to take the business risk that law enforcement will not act.

(2) Does the municipal attestation have to state that the applicant itself is specifically authorized to operate? LARA’s press release and FAQ stated that the local clerk must attest that the municipality has an ordinance allowing marihuana establishments or has adopted a new MMFLA ordinance. Press reported that LARA’s spokesperson said that if a municipality has adopted a new MMFLA ordinance, that is all an applicant must show on its application. But LARA’s Advisory Bulletin states that “the municipality must authorize the temporary operation of the applicant.” (Emphasis added.) Does this mean each specific applicant must be authorized? How does LARA determine that a specific applicant has been authorized if the municipality does not confirm that?

The Advisory Bulletin also states that if the municipality has authorized operations by a pre-MMFLA ordinance, the municipality must also be “pending adoption” of a new MMFLA ordinance. How can a clerk attest to this? Is a draft before a city council sufficient, even though council might not act favorably?

The revised FAQ document begins to address only part of this question. In a final section added to the end of the document, LARA responded to the first ambiguity regarding attestation by a municipality: “Local units of government may pass a resolution that authorizes the clerk to sign the attestation form—which will be provided by LARA—in order to allow for local authorization of continued operation of proposed medical marihuana facilities.” Potentially, then, since “continued operation of… facilities” is plural, once the clerk signs an attestation form confirming local authorization, all applicants within the municipality will be authorized to continue operations. But since each applicant needs to submit the attestation with an application, it is also possible that a municipality will provide the attestation to some businesses, but not others. Whether and how a clerk may attest to a pending ordinance also remains unclear. Presumably, LARA’s form will help resolve these questions.

(3) Must the applicant be in compliance with the municipal ordinance? LARA’s initial FAQ stated that the applicant can continue to operate if “in full compliance with local authorization.” In a classic Catch-22, most if not all of the municipal ordinances adopted or being drafted around the state prohibit operation unless the operator also has a valid state license, or provide that the municipality will not issue local permits until a state license is granted. It is, therefore, impossible to operate prior to state licensure in compliance with such ordinances. Do municipalities that wish to allow continued operations need to amend their ordinances to account for this? If so, the time is very short.

LARA’s revised FAQ document fixes this problem in two ways. First, it removes the language “in full compliance with local authorization” from the requirement for continued operation. Second, it includes a simple, direct mechanism for a municipality to authorize continued operation without resorting to the lengthy and uncertain process for amending an ordinance:

LARA recognizes that amending or passing ordinances at the local level is a time-consuming task and that it might not be feasible for a local governmental entity to accomplish before December 15, 2017. LARA also recognizes that certain local medical marihuana ordinances—that have already been passed—require state approval before local approval is given. Local units of government may pass a resolution that authorizes the clerk to sign the attestation form—which will be provided by LARA—in order to allow for local authorization of continued operation of proposed medical marihuana facilities.

Under this new FAQ section, applicants need not be in full compliance with a local ordinance in order to obtain local authorization. The limited effect of the revision is to allow applicants who are unable to fully comply with municipal ordinances (because state licenses will not be issued until next year) to continue operations despite that noncompliance.

(4) Will there still be a gap in the transition period when patients cannot get product? LARA’s Advisory Bulletin states that when applicants receive their state license, they will need to comply with MMFLA rules. Presumably this means dispensaries buying product only from licensed growers and processors, using secure transporters, collecting and remitting the new cannabis tax, etc. A dispensary that receives a license as a provisioning center before new licensed grows are producing product, though, would not be able to immediately comply with the new regulatory requirements, such as obtaining medical marihuana only through the seed-to-sale system. Thus, there may still be a gap during which sufficient product is not yet flowing through the regulated system. The revised FAQ document does not address these timing issues, but the eagerly anticipated emergency rules might bring clarity yet.

Unintended Consequences

As is the case for any major transition for an industry, unintended consequences are inevitable. One here may be that existing dispensaries that are authorized for continued operation under local ordinances, with owners who know they cannot be licensed due to disqualifying criminal or financial histories or other ineligibilities, will be able to operate as late as June 15, 2018, without adverse consequences—a major windfall for facilities that were supposed to close by December 15 of this year. Or, investors who wish to win first-mover advantage may well start looking for existing dispensaries to acquire, allowing them early market entry. In the end, all that is certain in this process is that some uncertainty will continue. Hopefully, though, LARA’s emergency rules and forms will provide some greater clarity.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.


Published at Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Health Benefits of Marijuana


Health Benefits of Marijuana

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

health benefits of marijuana

Regardless what’s your view on using marijuana for recreational purpose, its medical benefits cannot be denied. So it should have a “fair trial” and not be discarded as a medicine, implying controlled, THC-free usage, which should be distinguished from the illegal drug abuse.

Use of cannabis is noted as far back as 2737 BC in China. Mostly for medical purposes, as a cure for rheumatism, gout, malaria, and, ironically, absent-mindedness. California was the first state in the modern US to legalize usage of marijuana for medical purposes in 1996. Soon after, 23 more countries followed. The positive effect of this plant cannot be overlooked. It has been proving itself as a really efficient cure or relief for some of the most serious illnesses.

So here is just a few most notable example of the positive impact controlled the use of marijuana can have on your health.

It Prevents Cancer from Spreading

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the ingredient which has the highest presence in marijuana besides THC.  It does not get you “high”. It is actually which has been proved to have many health benefits. One of the most important ones being the ability to prevent cancer cells from further spreading. This was proved in a study from 2007 conducted by the California Pacific Medical Center.

What’s more, marijuana has been established to significantly slow down the growth of the tumor in brain, breast, and lungs. Here is the finding of the American Association for Cancer Research. You have to admit this is a big deal and a reason to give medical marijuana a chance.

Don’t Forget –a Joint a Day Keeps Mr. Alzheimer Away

THC, is the best-known member of the cannabis ingredient family. It has been proved to be an excellent prevention of the Alzheimer’s disease. In 2006, researchers from the Scripps Research Institute established that THC slows down forming of  amyloid plaques. Amyloid plaques kill the brain cells and potentially lead to Alzheimer’s. THC blocks the enzyme in the brain which produces them. This prevents or slows down the advance of the disease.

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye – Marijuana Can Help You Cure Glaucoma

Marijuana has been proved to reduce the eye pressure, which is normally increased by glaucoma. This eventually causes a loss of vision and other optic nerve injuries before that. Research from the 1970s have confirmed this beneficial effect of the cannabis. This has been confirmed by the National Eye Institute. So, in short, marijuana can help you preserve your eyesight. Here’s some more information about marijuana and glaucoma https://www.peoplesorangecounty.com/single-post/glaucoma-medical-marijuana-clinics-orange-county.

A Joint for Joint Problems and Arthritis Pain Relieving

Rheumatoid arthritis, usually causing quite some pain and discomfort, is proved to be relieved by cannabis. In 2011 it has been established that marijuana reduces inflammation and pain, and facilitates sleep. A cannabinoid-based pain-relieving medicine, Sativax has been given to rheumatoid arthritis patients in several hospitals and proved to have a positive effect, significantly reducing the pain after two weeks of usage.

It Can Control Epileptic Seizures

In 2003 a study proved that marijuana controls epileptic seizures by binding the brain cells which control excitability and regulate relaxation. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. The agent in this process is THC. This has been proved at the Virginia Commonwealth University through experiments on epileptic rats, in which THC stopped the seizures in approximately 10 hours.

This is just a small part of the marijuana health benefits list, which includes multiple sclerosis pain relief, tremor soothing in Parkinson’s disease, helping with Crohn’s disease, and many more. And we’re talking about serious medical and scientific researches results, not some dope gibberish, so think twice before you wave away marijuana as a potential cure for your health problems. If you are keen to try some of the health benefits of marijuana, ask your doctor about it and find a registered and reliable dispensary.


Published at Wed, 29 Nov 2017 18:05:04 +0000

Michigan’s MMJ Facility Rules Delayed Until End of Week

Michigan’s MMJ Facility Rules Delayed Until End of Week

Michigan’s MMJ Facility Rules Delayed Until End of Week

by Hilary Vigil

Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced today at the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board’s monthly meeting that the long-awaited emergency rules needed to implement the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) will not be released until the end of this week. Attendees and live-stream viewers of the Board meeting were disappointed by the announcement, as many had expected the rules to be unveiled during the meeting. Andrew Brisbo, director of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR), explained that the rules are still undergoing legal review at the Legislative Service Bureau and the Office of Regulatory Reinvention.

This slight delay comes after several months of furious work put into the rules by BMMR, which experienced staffing shortages during that time, according to statements made at today’s Board meeting. BMMR was established as a new division of LARA recently, in April 2017. Despite staffing shortages and the fact that the as-yet unreleased rules will dictate how applicants should apply for medical marihuana facility licenses from the State, BMMR stated that it will be ready to accept license applications on December 15, as planned. Board members also clarified that license application forms will be publicized early next week so that applicants can prepare the required materials in advance.

In addition to the delayed-rules announcement, the Board meeting featured a report by Kevin Sehlmeyer, Michigan’s State Fire Marshal, on fire safety requirements for medical marihuana facilities. Fire safety rules for facilities are forthcoming, as well.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.


Published at Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Hemp, Cannabis, and Marijuana: Know the Difference


Hemp, Cannabis, and Marijuana: Know the Difference

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017


Marijuana use is on the rise. In large part because of new laws surrounding recreational marijuana use and retail businesses in some states. Also because medical marijuana and the use of hemp is becoming a more accepted form of treatment.

This diversification shows growth in our country. But what risks are involved in marijuana use versus CBD oil?  Where do hemp and other related oils fit into the picture? How can you moderate your use if you know it may be interfering with activities like driving and work attendance in your daily life?

 With differences in legalities, levels of intoxication, purposes, you may have a long list of questions. Here are the differences between marijuana and hemp products. These are the potential effects on your body, and how they might impact you in different environments.

Marijuana, Hemp, What’s the Difference?

At this point, virtually everyone knows what marijuana is. But for anyone who needs a scientific refresher or any clarification, marijuana refers to the stems, leaves, buds, flowers, and seeds of two strains of cannabis plants. The cannabis sativa and the cannabis indica plant. The plants contain psychoactive substances that can be eaten, smoked, brewed into a tea, or vaped using  dried herbs. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the substance that causes the psychoactive effect. Out of the different forms of cannabis, marijuana cannabis contain the lowest concentration of THC.

 One of the many forms of cannabis, hashish is the sap that comes from the plant and contains higher levels of THC. When dried and pressed into blocks, the hashish — more commonly referred to as hash — can be smoked or baked into foods to produce a “high” in humans. Similarly, hash oil is a concentrated form of hash taken from the resin. It can smoked or incorporated into foods, as well as ingested orally. Sinsemilla is a seedless, smokable form of cannabis. this contains more THC.

 Medical Uses

As a medical treatment, marijuana can be used to help patients with an assortment of diseases. These range from common maladies such as pain, nausea, concussions, to more rare diseases such as GERD and epilepsy.

 There is also hemp oil and cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which are sometimes confused. Hemp oil, is usually produced from the seeds of the hemp plant. Though it can be produced from cannabis. Hemp oil is used in cooking, moisturizers, and soaps, as well as in making plastics and biofuel. CBD oil is made from the other parts of hemp, like the flowers, stems, and leaves. CBD oil is commonly used for medical treatment, including that of cancer, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and more.

How Will It Impact Me?

 Hemp and marijuana are similar plants. Because of this it is important to know difference between them. Hemp contains much lower levels of THC. The important difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is that hemp oil contains much lower levels of THC. Less than 1 percent, and CBD can have up to 15 percent. With a large range in cannabis products, it is natural to wonder just how strongly the plants will affect you.

 The University of Nevada, Reno reports an increase of drugged driving as the United States moves forward in the legalization of marijuana one state at a time. The report cites a study by PLOS that found over 40 percent of self-reporters admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana. Though UNR reports that no causality between legal marijuana use and traffic accidents, they do state that THC has a measurable impact on driving.

 Regardless, it is always illegal to drive while on the influence of alcohol or any type of drug, and it’s illegal to transport marijuana from a state in which it is legal into one in which it is not. However, CBD oil and hemp oil are legal in all 50 states and therefore can be taken while travelling and safely used while driving.

 What About My Job?

In the workplace, many employers will perform a drug test before hiring an employee. Though more and more employers located near states where marijuana is legal are not testing for marijuana, employees are usually not allowed to come into work while under the effects. Though CBD oils might show up in a drug test, most reputable products will have low enough levels of THC so as not to show up and should not interfere at work.

 Thoroughly research any product before taking it. When using CBD oils, buy from a reputable source and check the THC concentration. Never drive under the influence of marijuana or other substances that impair driving performance. Whether you live in a legalized state and can enjoy marijuana recreationally or you use cannabis or hemp products for medical purposes, make sure to use them appropriately.


Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 19:17:22 +0000

Hemp Bombs CBD Capsules and Oil: A Perfect Match To Relax!


Hemp Bombs CBD Capsules and Oil: A Perfect Match To Relax!

Friday, November 17th, 2017

CBD Capsules

Recently I had the oppritunity to try out some products from a very reliable company called Hemp Bombs. They offer a range of quality CBD products like edibles and vape E-liquids. Today I will be reviewing some of there “CBD Capsules” and there “CBD Oil”.

I love the pair that these two make! Low in sugar, easy on the stomach, and great tasting. If you would like to improve your quality of life in any way, this would be a great start!

 From Hemp Bombs

All of Hemp Bombs products are sourced from European Hemp with the highest growing standards, free of pesticides, chemicals, and contaminants. The CBD is extracted via supercritical CO2, widely acknowledged as the premier extraction process. Hemp Bombs then has independent lab tests for all of its products, adding another layer of quality control. Hemp Bombs is a consumer-focused and eco-friendly brand with a great selection of CBD products. See how Hemp Bombs can benefit you today.


What Is CBD?

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a compound that is derived from Cannabis, or Hemp. To be legally compliant, CBD is sourced from the stalks of low-THC, Industrial Hemp. CBD has been found to have many therapeutic effects for its users because of the way it interacts with the body’s Endocannabinoid System, with CB1 and CB2 receptors. Some of the reported benefits are better sleep, pain relief, and overall improvement in mood.

So What Did I Think?

 CBD Capsules

Well let me first start off by saying I don’t take pills. I have a very sensitive stomach. Any multivitamin or pain reliever I swallow is usually a battle. So I avoid taking pills all together usually.

However, Hemp Bombs CBD Capsules  are very gentle on my stomach, I can notice when I am digesting them because I will start to feel more comfortable and relaxed. Some mornings I will have a bit of anxiety, thinking of things I need to do that day can sometimes contribute to these feelings. CBD really helps subside this feeling and helps me start my day off on the right foot.

Also the feeling last throughout the day, although it is different. It is a more subtle feeling. I would say the CBD Capsules really helps enhance your mood. I just feel like things are a little easier to deal with, stress isn’t so “stressful”

I have yet to try them out when I am totally stressing out. Now that I think about it, I have not been stressed much at all ever since I started regularly taking CBD. However I would like to see how they effect someone that is having a “melt down”. I bet these green babies would help quite a bit!


As for the CBD Oil, I felt it was a great complement to the CBD Capsules. I like to use the CBD Oil at night before bed. It has a very pleasing peppermint flavor, so using  it after you have brushed your teeth is no big deal. If you are the type of person that suffers from restless legs, or insomnia, I really recommend CBD products before bed. I LOVE the quality of sleep I get now. For the past few years I have not be dreaming or remembering my dreams.

Now I dream every night! It’s awesome! Also, If a couple of nights after large meals I had alot of bloating and discomfort. I tried using CBD Oil to help with digestion. On both instances within 15 mins I was feeling great again!

So Give It A Try

So there are many uses for CBD products to help improve your quality of life in many ways. If you are new to the world of medical cannabis and hemp products you can’t got wrong with hemp bombs! I recommend the CBD Capsules for the day and the CBD Oil for the night, the perfect match to relax!



Published at Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:13:01 +0000

Monetize Medical Marijuana in Canada


Monetize Medical Marijuana in Canada

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

canada marijuana

The growing legalization of marijuana not only provides recreational and medical opportunities but business ones as well. Not only can you set up a shop in legalized states, you can also plant businesses in other legalized countries. Since marijuana is becoming legal in more states and countries now, it may be worth investing in the growing medical marijuana industry or edibles industry.

With its close proximity to the United States, Canada is a prime candidate for such a venture. Canada serves as a great liaison for medical tourism with the United States. Several provinces already have out-of-country processes for medical procedures. Certain areas in Canada offer booming business opportunities.

There are just a few important safety and legal factors to keep in mind. Like knowing the difference in marijuana legalization or medical programs between the two countries. In fact, Forbes reports that many marijuana businesses struggle due to a lack of knowledge. In the report, Forbes cites the main infractions according to marijuana business regulatory compliance experts. They include security and surveillance regulations, labeling and packaging, business records, and transport and storage.  All categories with failing rates.

Marijuana legal experts can help clients understand and comply with regulations. The laws can be difficult to navigate and prosecutors can be especially hard on marijuana misuse. In addition to following proper regulations, there are a few other factors to keep in mind while getting your international marijuana business off the ground.

Benefits of Medical Tourism for:

Medical tourism is when a patient seeks medical care outside of their country or state. Though this might seem extreme, medical costs in the U.S. continue to increase at an alarming rate. Many patients are looking for international medical care. According to medical transportation experts, medical tourism is becoming so common that commercial air ambulance services are now available.

Medical tourism can have several benefits for patients. In many cases, patients can get the same medical procedures out of the country for a much lower cost. Even bringing down a potential six-digit bill to a more manageable five-digit one. It can also give patients waiting on a transplant or blood transfusion a higher chance of getting what they need. This is especially important if a patient needs an immediate operation and doesn’t have time to wait for an available donor in their country.

Additionally, travelling for a medical procedure can be a way to circumnavigate restrictive laws. It gives patients the freedom to make decisions without the limits of local legislation. Overall, medical tourism offers patients an alternative option for care that can be better for them without compromising the quality of services. Plus, it offers the extra opportunity to visit a new culture.

Investing in Multiple Locations

Taking advantage of business opportunities doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move. In fact, you can multiply your profits by investing your business in multiple locations. You could potentially have a location in the U.S. and one in Canada. Of course, starting a business is no small task and will require extensive organization and planning.

Financial advisor and author Craig Anthony advises that to best manage multiple business incomes at once, you should focus your efforts and keep your businesses separate. Firstly, focusing your efforts requires choosing one location to begin with and start manifesting the second one only after the first is running well. This will help keep the process cleaner, allow you to focus on one business at a time, and help prevent spreading your resources too thin.

Secondly, keeping your business separate will help maintain that balance as both business locations grow. Not only is this important for accounting purposes, but it will help you evaluate the profitability of each separate location and ensure that you are investing in the best way possible.

Going into the marijuana business has many benefits but requires extensive knowledge of the varying laws and regulations about it. This includes everything from shipping laws, to driving under the influence of marijuana, to knowing the different regulations of the neighboring states or provinces. Monetizing medical marijuana in Canada from the U.S. may not be easy, but it can be a rewarding enterprise to go into.


Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:35:58 +0000

Michigan’s Marihuana License Educational Sessions Focus on Application Procedures, Not Substantive Guidance

Michigan’s Marihuana License Educational Sessions Focus on Application Procedures, Not Substantive Guidance

Michigan’s Marihuana License Educational Sessions Focus on Application Procedures, Not Substantive Guidance

by Hilary Vigil

On Wednesday, November 8, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and its Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) kicked off the first of a series of six educational sessions on Medical Marihuana Facility Licensing. LARA’s staff presented information about the two online platforms that will be used to apply for facility licenses and to track and inventory cannabis plants and products once facilities are open for business. The session did not, however, address many of the substantive questions that arise out of Michigan’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (“MMFLA”).

The first half of the session included a step-by-step walk-through of Accela, the platform that applicants will use to apply online for facility licenses. LARA confirmed that applicants may submit a paper application instead of using Accela, if they prefer. The Accela presentation highlighted the platform’s functionality, but it did not provide any insight into how LARA plans to interpret key provisions of the MMFLA. For example, LARA did not address how the emergency rules to be issued later this month will interpret statutory disclosure requirements and ineligibility criteria for an applicant’s affiliates. LARA also did not reveal the contents of certain disclosure forms that applicants and their affiliates will be required to submit as part of the application. While many industry hopefuls were wishing for much-needed guidance, it appears that answers will be provided only when the State’s emergency rules are issued.

The second half of the session consisted of an overview of the statewide monitoring system, Metrc, that the state and industry members will use to track marihuana growth, processing, transportation, testing, and sales. The training touched on everything from how the cloud-hosted online system will track plants and products using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to how medical marihuana business owners will interface with the system, as well as how the state will use the system as a regulatory and compliance tool. Metrc staff reassured applicants that there will be more training and interactive support available to licensees who use the system once licenses have been issued.

Metrc will function mainly to log facilities’ employees and tasks, and to track marihuana inventory by location in each facility. Compliance investigators from the state will be able to scan an entire room of marihuana plants or products at once using an RFID scanner that reads an RFID tag attached to each plant or product. Licensees will use Metrc to assign a plant ID number and corresponding tag to each immature plant that will remain with the plant through its vegetative and flowering cycles. The system also facilitates harvest tracking in batches. During processing, licensees must assign package ID numbers to each product batch. Packages will be labeled with a new RFID tag. Metrc also facilitates transfers of plants and products between facilities; for example, a grower must assign its plants and their ID numbers to a secure transporter and then to the processor when transferring cannabis to a processing center. Each facility is responsible for the plants and packages corresponding to the ID numbers in its Metrc log, and compliance investigators will be able to compare inventory manifests in Metrc with plants and products physically present at each facility. Metrc aims to make regulatory compliance procedures efficient, but it also aims to provide value to facilities required to use the system.

Although Metrc was not created for the express purpose of managing or organizing businesses, facilities will receive some business management tools from the system. For example, facilities will be able to input information about marihuana strains, inventory items other than cannabis plants and marihuana products, and track weights and waste through the growing and processing stages. In its presentation, Metrc staff emphasized that enterprising facilities can use the system to analyze the regulatory data captured, to perform supply and demand forecasts based on moisture loss and waste data, and to calculate cost of goods sold. Information stored on Metrc will only be accessible on the industry side by the facility licensee and on the regulatory side by the state. The secure information will not be available to the general public.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.


Published at Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:00:00 +0000

7 Top Hacks to Get Best Performance from Firefly 2 Vaporizer


7 Top Hacks to Get Best Performance from Firefly 2 Vaporizer

Friday, November 10th, 2017

fire fly with girl

So you’ve got your hands on the exquisitely crafted Firefly 2. You feel like the luckiest vaper on earth! But also you feel like you could be getting more out of this little beaut. Well, as with everything in this modern life, there are numerous Firefly 2 hacks out there. To make sure you’re always getting the best out of your vape session, we’ve outlined the top 7 hacks below!

Firefly 2 : Be Master of your Flight path

As you may already well know, our beloved Firefly 2 is a portable vaporizer. The Firefly 2 heats your material solely via convection with super-heated air. This makes it different than most other vapes out there. The best thing about the Firefly 2 is that YOU are in control!

Firefly 2 gold

Image Source: Namaste Vapes Canada

The Firefly 2 offers superb flavor for a portable vaporizer while remaining extremely efficient. Its chamber efficiently vapes as little as 0.1g of dried material. The draw itself is always smooth and never harsh. So if you choose to vape, herbs or concentrates, you can rely on the velvety vapor your Firefly 2 will produce. One of the other great aspects of the Firefly 2 is the on demand heating. The Firefly only heats up when in use so there’s no wasted herb between draws and you’re getting all the goodness.

So now that we’re all nice and cosy, let’s get down to the tips and tricks that will improve on an already golden child of a vape:

 Getting Started with the Grind

Firefly 2 grinder

First things first, let’s take a look at the herbs you’re grinding. It’s important to remember not to grind too much at once. Don’t over-grind the herb. The convection heating system in the Firefly 2 will never work well with super small ground herb.

Basically your Firefly 2 don’t want none unless it’s got buns hun, so the chunkier the better! This leaves more surface area for the the hot air to circulate around the herb. It will vaporize all the tastiness for you to enjoy. It also means the herbs will be vaporized more evenly, reducing wastage.

You can break up your herb by hand, but sometimes that method can take away from the taste. Uneven chunk size can lead to uneven vaporization. Ideally, try to get your vapor lovin’ hands on a grinder and give your herb a few spins in it.

Grinders generally provide a more even grind. It’s easier to make sure all the goodness makes it into the chamber. You’ll might notice that your hits are a bit bigger and a little more potent.

An App to Keep you “Appy”

fire fly app

The next step in making sure you’re ready for you Firely 2. Download the Firefly Vapor smartphone app. Available for free download for Android devices from the Google Play Store and for iOs from the Apple Store. This app makes the Firefly 2 wonderfully accessible to everyday vapers. It gives you complete control over you session. The Firefly Vapor app allows you to fine tune your temperature. Settings allowing for the most precise vaporization.

It also allows you to switch your Firefly 2 from dry herb to concentrate mode! Dry herb mode has a few different heat levels to choose from. You can experiment it with to find your favourite temperature.

Concentrate mode has a single temperature that is perfect for vaping concentrates. Concentrate mode is the highest temperature available. But be warned that your dry herbs may burn. This would be a terrible waste!

Ensuring Herbalicious Vaping

Here’s a few tips and tricks to make sure you’re getting the best out of you dry herbs. Load the oven with coarsely ground herbs, avoid any massive chunks. The oven on the Firefly 2 has a capacity of 0.15g but will still provide tasty vapor when two thirds full.

If the oven is too tightly packed, you won’t be able to get a good hit out of your Firefly 2. The hot air you’re pulling in and around the herbs won’t have enough room to circulate. It wont be vaporizing as effectively as with a less packed oven.

Admittedly there is a small learning curve with this process of packing the oven. But it’s just like riding a bike – once you know, you know! If you find you losing power in your hit, try stirring the contents of the oven. You can also empting them onto the lid of the Firefly 2. After scrape back into the oven so that they are “upside down”.

It’s important to make sure that the glass vapor path on your Firefly 2 is free of any gunk or debris. This could affect the taste of your vapor. Also, make sure the magnetic lid is fully sealed onto the body of the vaporizer lest vapor could escape!

Concentrate on This

The trick to vaporizing concentrates is not to overload the pads. Instead, experiment first with smaller doses (around the size of a sesame seed) so you can start to understand each other. This will help with keeping your Firefly 2 clean, because concentrate gunk is the gunkiest, and also prevent you from suffering any super strong hits. Remember, concentrates are exactly what they say on the tin – concentrated! As nice and tasty as any vapor is, too much will still sicken you, and the last thing we want is you going off your favourite flavours. Concentrates can also take a little longer to heat up so experiment with cigar-style puffs until you see and/or taste vapor and then try a deep inhale to get the process started.

Keep it clean

Cleaning you Firefly is like cleaning your room – you should do it often! But don’t worry, it’s a much more pleasurable task and you won’t find any mystery socks lurking in there (Well, you shouldn’t anyway). When your vape required cleaning will, of course depend on usage and build up of gunk, but if you can keep you Firefly 2 vaporizer sparkly and clog-free, your vapor will always be pure and tasty so it’s totally worth doing it fairly often.

It’s generally a very straightforward job and much easier if you do it immediately after a session, when the stainless steel and the window on the cover are still warm. Just take a paper towel or handkerchief and wiping away gunk or residue that tends to build up on the window and the area around the oven. If you wait for the Firefly 2 to cool down, you’ll need a little bit of alcohol to help wipe all the gunk out. If for no other reason, remember you need to clean your vape because damage caused by neglect of cleaning will void the warranty!

Hit Me Like That Snare. More, More More

When trying to maximise your hit, it’s best to start with the simple things so make sure that the lid of the Firefly 2 is on tight and the the mouthpiece has been inserted correctly – you will hear/feel a click.

Another hack for getting bigger puffs on the go is placing a concentrate pad, included as an accessory in the box, on top of the herb in the oven chamber. The idea behind this is that the metal pad acts as a conductor for the heat passing through the chamber effectively adding conduction heat to the vaporization process. This works to a certain extent, but be careful when you approach higher temperatures as the pad may burn your herb and taint the vapor’s otherwise delicious taste.

Tackling a Slow Starter

girl using fire fly

As an on-demand vaporizer, the Firefly 2 will only heat up when you take a draw from it. This means there isn’t a lot of heat built up during the early puffs of your session, but we can help you with that too. In order to get the fuller hit first time, you need to get the vaporization started before you take a big draw.

A few sips of the mouthpiece is enough to get the air to heat up. Once heated it will flow through the oven chamber in and around the herb. Once you notice you Firefly 2 start to produce a little bit of vapor, that’s your cue to take a long 7-10 seconds draw.

If you take a long, steady enough draw, the Firefly 2 will give a little whistle and that’s your sign the your vape is ready to go. Other than that, you can try yelling Jiminy Cricket, but I don’t know what kind of vape expert he is! And always let your vapor be you guide!

And there you have it , our best tips, tricks, hacks and general advice for getting the most out of your Firefly 2. With it’s compatibility with herbs and concentrates and supreme functionality it truly is much, much more than a pretty face!


Published at Fri, 10 Nov 2017 08:24:32 +0000

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members

Michigan Gets Recommendations for Medical Marijuana Rules, New Advisory Panel Members

Back in August, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced the formation of “work groups” to provide input as LARA adopts emergency rules to govern activities under the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). Organized around the MMFLA’s five license types, those work groups met last month. At today’s meeting of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board, LARA unveiled summaries of the work groups’ recommendations.


  • THC limits: labels should indicate THC mg per unit versus per package; if limits are set on a per package basis, should be 1000 mg, with dose size indicated.
  • Security and safety protocols should be required.
  • Product regulation: edibles should be shelf-stable and not require refrigeration; edibles should be tested to ensure safe consumption after 90 days in storage.
  • Product remediation: if marihuana fails mold tests, the batch should be tested again; if it fails for pesticides, all of the batch should be rejected and destroyed.


  • Labs should be licensed first to avoid bottlenecks as the system comes on-line.
  • Pesticides: State should provide list of approved and unapproved pesticides.
  • State’s capital requirements should allow buildings to count toward asset requirements.
  • “Stacking” of multiple grow licenses: no consensus; some favored free market, others wanted protectionism for small growers.

Safety Compliance Facilities

  • Mold testing should be modeled on some set of national standards.
  • Quarterly quality assurance testing should be conducted.
  • On-site testing should be allowed, with lab employees going to growers.
  • Edibles should undergo long-term storage testing to establish expiration dates.
  • Action should be taken against facilities that have product repeatedly fail tests.

Provisioning Centers

  • Daily purchase limits: 2.5 ounces flower or equivalent; perhaps a monthly limit.
  • Packaging: labels should identify product, quantity, batch and lot number, allergens, expiration date, warnings and instructions. Should not be enticing to children.
  • Training for employees should be required.

Secure Transporters

  • Standards should address security and storage limits.
  • Vehicles should have 360 degree camera coverage visible inside, lockable barriers that prevent driver access to cargo, shatterproof windows, and ability to notify law enforcement of emergencies.
  • 24/7 operation should be allowed.
  • Drivers should have flexibility to alter routes.
  • The BIG debate: should drivers be allowed to carry firearms?

The recommendations above are obviously the tip of the iceberg; the work groups covered far more than was reported. LARA will now use these recommendations as the State develops emergency rules.

Going forward, it is unclear if the work groups will continue. The work groups were instituted by LARA because the MMFLA required the Governor to appoint an Advisory Panel by March 20, 2017, and Gov. Rick Snyder did not do so. At the time, the Governor’s office explained that the Panel could not be appointed because it must include representatives of different types of MMFLA licensees, and no licenses would be issued until sometime in 2018. The position of the Governor’s office changed, however, as just last week, the Governor announced appointments for the other specified categories. Those appointments include:

  • Roseville Police Chief James Berlin, representing police.
  • Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, representing sheriffs.
  • Wayne County Director of Commission Affairs Alan Helmkamp, representing counties.
  • Attorney for Michigan Townships Association Catherine Kaufman, representing townships.
  • Medical director of Doc Greens Clinic Dr. Saqib Nakadar, representing physicians.
  • Accountant Paul Samways of Cannabis Accounting, representing patients.
  • Grand Rapids Planning Director Suzanne Schulz, representing cities and villages.

In addition to the above appointees, the MMFLA provides that the Advisory Panel must include the Attorney General and the directors or designees of LARA, Michigan State Police, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

As for the representatives of the MMFLA’s license classes, Gov. Snyder stated that he will appoint those members once licenses have been issued. Whether LARA will look to work groups for industry input in the interim remains to be seen.

As always, check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.


Published at Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000