Michigan Announces “Road Shows” on Marihuana Licensure

Michigan Announces “Road Shows” on Marihuana Licensure

Michigan Announces “Road Shows” on Marihuana Licensure

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has announced the dates and locations of educational sessions to explain to potential medical marihuana licensees the state’s new license application process and seed-to-sale tracking system.

LARA’s “road shows” will not present the actual applications for licensure, but will cover the process, and most importantly, the requirements for applying for licensure in December. LARA will also explain how the METRC tracking system will operate to tag and track plants and marihuana products.

LARA’s educational sessions will take place from 9 a.m. until noon, in the following cities:

  • November 8: Farmington Hills (Oakland Community College).
  • November 9: University Center (Saginaw Valley State).
  • November 13: Traverse City (Great Wolf Lodge).
  • November 14: Kalamazoo (Wings Conference Center).
  • November 15: East Lansing (Michigan State’s Kellogg Center).

Preregistration is required by November 1, through METRC’s Michigan web page.

LARA’s announcement notes that there will be additional training opportunities made available. Also, Gongwer News Service is reporting that the November 9 and November 15 sessions will be live-streamed.

As followers of this blog know, LARA will be issuing emergency rules to govern the State’s new regulated medical marihuana industry that is emerging following the passage of last year’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. At least those rules addressing the application process and qualifications for licensure should be issued prior to the upcoming educational sessions.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.


Published at Mon, 09 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Marijuana Testing

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Marijuana Testing

Michigan Issues Advisory Bulletin on Marijuana Testing

Today, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) released an Advisory Bulletin regarding testing points for marihuana and marihuana infused products. As with all of LARA’s Advisory Bulletins, this announcement provides advance notice of what LARA intends to include in emergency rules that will be issued to implement the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). We continue to expect those emergency rules to be issued by the early part of November.

Per this Advisory Bulletin, LARA intends to require that products be tested at two points in the supply chain. First, a grower will be required to test marijuana after harvest and before it is transferred to either a processor or a provisioning center. Second, a processor will be required to have products tested after they are in their final form and before they are transferred to a provisioning center. Test results will be recorded in the statewide monitoring system, and growers and processors able to access the results. Provisioning centers will not be allowed to sell marihuana or infused products unless the product has been both tested and labelled.

In addition to the mandatory testing points noted above, growers and processors may choose to have products tested at other stages. Caregivers may also have marijuana or infused products tested, but their products are not entered into the seed-to-sale tracking system.

Left unaddressed by this Advisory Bulletin are a number of critical testing issues that should be covered by the State’s emergency rules. Among these are the contents of labels, batch sizes for testing, the method of sample collection and transport, and, of course, the substances and thresholds for which products must be tested.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.


Published at Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Ordering Cannabis Online? Weed Courier Has The Buds You Need!


Ordering Cannabis Online? Weed Courier Has The Buds You Need!

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

By Caitlan Summer


With legalization of marijuana drawing closer, the Canadian government is debating the best course of action to establish the ability to obtain quality product through safe and secure methods.  

The mail-order marijuana system that is in place has always been the safest and most effective sales channel. This is where the leading lady of the Canadian crop shines.

Weed Courier is a premier mail-order cannabis website that provides the best quality high you can buy. It is the top site in the nation to procure your goods.

Why Buy Buds Online?

The Weed Courier website has been refined into a user-friendly bud obtaining experience. The entire purchasing experience is 100% evolving based on you, the buyer’s desires. It’s easy to access and easy to use; remember you must be over the age of 19 to access and buy.


With a fast and secure purchase, your glorious green buds; scrumptious edibles; and golden shatter is mailed directly to your doorstep.

Their direct buying protocol and its fast delivery times have secured it’s spot at the top of the mail-order marijuana hierarchy.

Weed Courier Has The Right Strain For Your Pain

Once signed in to the website, the products are clearly laid out for your viewing pleasure.  They offer a wide variety of high quality and high potency strains.


Weed Courier provides top of the line indica strains to help create a calming, full body high. Try the MK Ultra if this sounds like something you require.


Top of the line sativa strains, like Lemon Haze, are also readily available. These flowers tend to uplift and create a cerebral high.


Hybrids are well-stocked at Weed Courier too. Peruse the Hybrid section to get comprehensive effects lists for each strain. Pineapple Express is always a crowd-pleaser.


Feel free to contact a specialist working with Weed Courier through their standby messenger system on the website. They can help you determine what would suit you best.

Top Shelf Concentrates and Edibles

If you prefer to get your THC in a smokeless way, Weed Courier provides edibles. Freshly baked brownies and yummy gummy bears can be delivered straight to your door.


Users can find shatter and hash on Weed Courier, too. These concentrates are great for avoiding tar and carbon created from burning plant matter.


Another bonus to procuring through Weed Courier is its always updated menu. Weed Courier wants to determine what fits their customers needs best. If you would like them to stock product they do not currently have, they would love to do that for you.


All of the strains are covered under set pricing. You can get a top dollar experience for practical prices.

Easy Checkout And Fast Delivery

weed courier shipping

Once all of your goodies in your basket, Weed Courier provides a simple and secure purchasing process via an Interac E-Transfer. Once you receive the link in your inbox, the process takes no more than five minutes to complete.


Weed Couriers also offers the fastest delivery times. Once Weed Courier accepts payment, processing time can take up to 24 hours, your goods at your doorstep within two to three days, weekends excluded.


All of the packages are sent in nondescript, vacuum sealed containers. Just another step in ensuring your privacy and security.


If you’re interested in learning more about what goes on at Weed Courier, they offer information via the chat feature, email or by phone. Weed Courier even offers consultations. Get in touch today so Weed Courier can help personalize a weed buying plan for your day-to-day THC  needs.


Visit on the Web: WeedCourier.ca


Or call toll-free: 1-855-U-GET-LIT


Published at Thu, 05 Oct 2017 19:30:26 +0000

Need Some Help With Detox?


Need Some Help With Detox?

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

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2. High​ ​protein​ ​binding​ ​of​ ​metabolites​ ​in​ ​the​ ​blood​ ​stream​ ​to​ ​albumin​ ​–​ ​your​ ​body​ ​can​ ​only eliminate​ ​free​ ​unattached​ ​THC​ ​through​ ​the​ ​kidney​ ​and​ ​bowel.

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Depending​ ​on​ ​the​ ​level​ ​of​ ​usage​ ​and​ ​the​ ​person​ ​in​ ​question​ ​(age,​ ​gender,​ ​weight​ ​etc.)​ ​the half-life​ ​​ ​(time​ ​the​ ​drug​ ​stays​ ​in​ ​your​ ​body)​ ​varies​ ​greatly.​ ​

For a ​one-time​ ​user​ it can ​typically​ ​take​ ​3-5 days​ ​to​ ​test​ ​negative.​ ​For a infrequent​ ​use​r can ​possibly​ ​take​ ​a​ ​week​ ​to​ ​10​ ​days. As for ​​daily​ ​consumption, ​ ​several​ ​weeks​ ​to​ ​well​ ​over​ ​a​ ​month.​

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Still​ ​often​ ​times​ ​this​ ​will​ ​not​ ​be​ ​enough​ ​if​ ​it​ ​could​ ​take​ ​several​ ​weeks​ ​to​ ​test​ ​clean​ ​and​ ​you​ ​are fearful​ ​of​ ​a​ ​random,​ ​on​ ​probation,​ ​or​ ​about​ ​to​ ​take​ ​a​ ​pre-employment​ ​screen​ ​and​ ​can’t​ ​wait​ ​that long.​ ​You​ ​need​ ​a​ ​detox​ ​product​ ​that​ ​actually​ ​works​ ​and​ ​makes​ ​sense.​ ​No​ ​overly​ ​complex instructions,​ ​no​ ​gimmicks.

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Published at Wed, 04 Oct 2017 06:35:04 +0000

Online Headshops vs Local Headshops


Online Headshops vs Local Headshops

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017


There are more and more online headshops popping up every day. So naturally, the question on a lot of minds is ” Is an online headshop really better than a local headshop?”  To answer this, it’s important to understand what each has to offer. In this blog we are going to find out!

Lets Shop”Local”

Headshop sign

Headshop Sign

Local headshops are places newbies end up when they’re looking to buy a new pipe or dab rig. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. There’s nothing like seeing so much awesome stuff firsthand for the first time, right?

You get to see and touch products and hold them in your hand before you buy them. That alone is a classic experience that can’t be undervalued. It’s how humans have been judging quality of crafts since time immemorial, after all, and there’s a reason we still shop at brick and mortar stores at all in this digital age. We like that experience of touching, feeling, deciding right there in the moment.

Another huge benefit to going to a local headshop is the one-on-one facetime you can get with a local expert. These are people that live in your town. Maybe they even know you. You can explain to them your wants and goals. They can make recommendations based on what you said. You benefit from their knowledge and experience. There’s also a lot of benefits to being a regular patron of an establishment. Most businesses treat regular clientele like royalty. Especially if you are polite! Which is something that is easy to be in person when dealing one on one with folks.

Headshop…… What Headshop?

Of course, there are downsides to local headshops as well. I mean, does your town even have one? Most Americans still live in rural places and small cities. Unless you live in a bigger city or a college town, you may not even have a headshop.  This can definitely make it difficult to get to one.  A lot of small town Americans are used to traveling an hour or so by car to visit stores they want to see, but as gas prices rise and wages do not rise, traveling an hour to a headshop becomes a lot less practical.

Then there’s the inventory issue. Local headshops are limited by the amount of space they have in their store. As well as the how fast products are selling or not selling. They may not have the precise thing you’re looking for. You could probably order it online quicker than they could get it from their wholesaler. Which sort of defeats the instant gratification benefits of a brick and mortar headshop.

Online headshops

Online Headshops

Online Headshops

The biggest benefit to online headshops is that as long as you have access to the internet and a way to pay for the product, you have access to the products you want. Online headshops can stock huge inventory, because they’re not limited to the physical space that a brick and mortar headshop is. For what they lack in friendly salespeople, online headshops definitely make up for it in variety. Whatever you have in mind, an online headshop probably has it currently available.

So Many Options So Little Time

Some people may prefer online shopping as well, simply because you get to visually see loads of options in a relatively short amount of time. While some people may prefer to hold a pipe in their hand, others want to look at all of the pipes, and that’s how they make their decision, which is sort of a preference thing, but it’s a big part of why many prefer online headshops to local ones.

And while you won’t have as many salespeople at online headshops, it’s not like they’re without any human interaction at all. Most have customer service that can be reached by phone, email or online messaging and they’ll be happy to answer questions.

Online headshops also offer discretion. There’s nothing illegal about going to a headshop, but let’s face it: Humans can be judge-y creatures. For those who would prefer their smoking habits not to be known, online headshops obviously offer a level of discretion that local headshops simply can’t.

Going back to the variety thing, online headshops also tend to get a lot of new items in pretty regularly, so if you’re the type of person who likes to see what’s new, an online headshop’s your best bet.

Then there’s money. Online headshops are more likely to give out coupons, discounts and promo codes. Their brick and mortar counterparts, usually can’t afford it.  If you are interested in finding a reputable online head shop I highly recommend then head over to https://skyhighsmokeshop.com they carry a large inventory of products you’ll love at affordable prices!

Rolling Things Up

So, online headshops vs local headshops: Which one is better? That is a question only you can answer for yourself, but now that you’re better informed about the strong points of each, you’ve probably already made the decision.


Published at Wed, 27 Sep 2017 07:03:48 +0000

Turn Your Website, Blog, and Social Media into Cash with CBD and Affiliate Marketing


Turn Your Website, Blog, and Social Media into Cash with CBD and Affiliate Marketing

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

CBD Affiliate Marketing

Every few years, it seems like the internet is swept by a “new” money making tool. Some of them work out – others don’t. The recent Affiliate Marketing bandwagon seems like it’s going to be around in the long-run with companies like Amazon being so heavily involved.

Indeed, ever since the 4 Hour Work Week hit shelves, there’s been a mad rush to earn passive income for every with an internet connection. In this post, we take a look at the basics of affiliate marketing. As well as show you why CBD is one of the best industries for affiliates to work with. Read on to learn how to turn your website, blog, and social media into goldmines.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a relationship between three parties with revenue sharing around shared goals. The three parties involved are the:

  • Advertiser (Merchant)
  • Publisher (Affiliate)
  • Consumer (Buyer)

Afilliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the interplay between these three entities to move product and make conversions. Each has their own agenda, but each is critical to the process. Let’s look at affiliate marketing from the perspective of each of these players.

The Advertiser (Merchant)

The advertiser is the supplier in the affiliate marketing chain. They are the brand and offer the product for the consumers to buy and affiliates to promote. What is important to note, is that advertisers, while always looking to sell products, may have other conversion opportunities for their affiliate program. Those could be email opt-ins, testimonials, downloads, etc… It’s the advertiser who processes orders on their website and pays out affiliates (publishers) a certain commission rate.

But why would the advertisers spend money on affiliates instead of promoting in-house?

As with advertisers, one of the main problems any business has is its scope. Simply, unless you Coca Cola or Facebook, there are customers that don’t know you or don’t see you. Affiliates can help solve that problem. They become brand promoters for your company with the incentive of commissions. Whether it’s a website shout-out or an instagram mention, advertisers are able to reach a bigger audience through their affiliates. This higher exposure and traffic can only mean good things for business.

The Publisher

The publisher is the link between consumers and the merchant. Publishers may have websites,  social media followings, blogs, etc… To the advertiser, they represent untapped audiences. In exchange for a commission for all the conversions they help execute, publishers become spokespeople and promoters.

From a publisher perspective, the best advertiser for you is a company who is relevant and offers strong commission rates. A relevant audience is much more likely to go through the buying process than someone than an audience who doesn’t engage with a merchant or brand.


Last, there are the consumers within affiliate marketing. The consumers fund the entire business. The consumer is the party that completes an action – email opt-in, purchase, download, etc… and triggers the commission payments for the affiliate. Consumers have different patterns of behavior (what they search, click, and purchase), so it’s important that merchants and publishers are in touch with these behaviors for their conversion purposes.

For consumers to purchase, advertisers and publishers need to show them the value that products bring. The more you can convince a consumer you will add value for them, the more likely they will be to convert.

Odds and Ends

While you have been introduced to the different constituents of affiliate marketing, we haven’t discussed the how. Without going into too much detail, affiliate marketing relies on what are called cookies to track the buyer journey from visit to checkout.

Cookies, Links, and Creatives

Cookies make the internet a better place. Cookies, are small browser-based files that are placed on your computer to save data. For instance, whenever you computer “remembers” login credentials on a site, those are cookies. They are designed to ease server load when a user browses the internet. Rather than having toad all of the information from a website page, some of that information is already known.

In affiliate marketing, data from users is stored in cookies to track user activity through specially generated links. Depending on how the merchant works, the affiliate will be given a unique link that they can advertise on their different platforms.

These links can be placed behind images or text depending on a publisher’s marketing strategies.

An advertiser also may offer creatives, which are visual, interactive media that a publisher can use to promote a brand. These creatives can come with a certain affiliate tracking code to track conversions from as well. Here is an image from Hemp Bombs’ Creatives Section, a popular CBD affiliate program.

HempBombs pic 1

In this program, an affiliate grabs the text code from this page and then pastes that into the backend of his or her website. And, tada! You’ve got a unique affiliate creative which you can use to track your conversion goals.

That is a broad overview of affiliate marketing in general. But that doesn’t touch on the CBD market in particular, which is one of the most exciting industries to become an affiliate in.

Why Become a CBD Affiliate?

If you are considering getting into affiliate marketing, partnering with a CBD brand is a great choice. We’ll take a brief look at the reasons why CBD is the perfect industry to get started in as an affiliate marketer.


Affiliates would be lying if they said they’re in affiliate marketing for anything but the money. Amazon has probably the most well-known and most successful affiliate program. While an Amazon affiliate has a brand name and smart interface, a glance at the commission show that nobody’s getting rich off individual referrals.

Commissions breakdown

Commissions breakdown

With CBD, commission rates are much more attractive. In the Hemp Bombs affiliate program we pictured above, commissions average 25% per sale. That’s up to twenty-five times as much as you’d make as an Amazon affiliate. With CBD, you get more bang for your buck.

Industry Growth

Both the Marijuana and CBD industries are booming, with no signs of slowing down. On a social level, entrenched opinions are being turned over and even non-users are embracing the benefits. This is a recent Gallup Poll of individuals who were asked, “Do you think Marijuana should be made legal, or not?”

Cannabis Growth Chart

Cannabis Growth Chart

Today, way more than half the population is pro-marijuana legalization. This is great socially and financially. For businesses, the widespread support of legalization means there’s a growing audience – with increased audience comes greater demand. This demand is only anticipated to grow over the next few years.

Hemp Based Product sales

Hemp Based Product sales

According to Forbes, the Hemp industry (where CBD is derived from) is expected to see 700% growth by 2020. If you’re looking to become a stakeholder in this industry, now is the perfect time.

From Consumer to Publisher

If you’ve made it this far into the article, first off, well done. If you’ve gotten here and read carefully, you’ll know you’re probably on the consumer side of the affiliate marketing model. Right now, CBD and Marijuana companies are using you to fuel their profits, without sharing any with you. Now is your opportunity to make a change. Visit Hemp Bombs and explore their affiliate section and learn more about how you can turn your audience into cash. Going from consumer to publisher is one of the easiest and smartest decisions you’ll ever make.


Published at Mon, 02 Oct 2017 20:41:41 +0000

Michigan to Allow “Stacking” of Multiple Grower Licenses

Michigan to Allow “Stacking” of Multiple Grower Licenses

Michigan to Allow “Stacking” of Multiple Grower Licenses

The State of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) today released an Advisory Bulletin stating its intent that medical marihuana businesses will be allowed to hold multiple Class C grow licenses, and do so in the same facility.

As we previously reported, last week LARA announced that it intends to allow the co-location of different license types (growers, processors, and retail provisioning centers) in the same building. Co-located licenses, however, will require separate entrances and exits and separate, distinct working areas. Left unaddressed in last week’s Advisory Bulletin was whether those separation requirements would apply to multiple grow licenses.

Today’s Advisory Bulletin answers the question about locating multiple grow licenses together. The State does intend to allow multiple or “stacked” grow licenses for Class C (1,500 plant) grow licenses only. Stacked licenses must be issued to the same applicant/licensee (i.e., no difference in ownership composition), and the license fee and regulatory assessment must be paid for each license. Separation of the licenses then will only be “virtual” in nature. That is, the licenses can occupy the same working area, but information entered into the State’s seed-to-sale monitoring system will need to be tracked to the each specific, individual license. Finally, stacking must be in compliance with any local ordinances and zoning.

This latest announcement by LARA continues a trend of the Department being responsive to industry concerns, and providing helpful information in advance of the release of emergency rules, still expected for early November. Per public announcements by LARA’s Director, we do expect further guidance to be issued in the relatively near future, including the financial requirements for various license types.

In addition to these Advisory Bulletins, LARA has also released the Confidentiality and User Agreement for interfacing inventory control systems with the State’s METRC seed-to-sale tracking software. Per the terms of that agreement, the State expects METRC to be tracking transactions in real time, and allow provisioning centers to check whether a customer has reached a daily purchase limit.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.


Published at Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Michigan Releases “FAQ” on Marihuana Facility Licensing

Michigan Releases “FAQ” on Marihuana Facility Licensing

Michigan Releases “FAQ” on Marihuana Facility Licensing

Today, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issued a detailed “FAQ” on the process for issuing licenses under the State’s new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.

LARA’s FAQ document may be found here.

As regular readers of this blog know, LARA has been extremely busy in the roll-out of the State’s MMFLA program. The last two weeks have seen LARA issue two important Advisory Bulletins, and host five work groups to obtain public input on how to address regulatory topics in the upcoming rules.

We fully expect further pronouncements from LARA as we get closer to the October 17 Medical Marihuana Licensing Board meeting. We also believe that LARA remains on target to issue emergency rules and an application checklist by early November.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.


Published at Thu, 28 Sep 2017 16:00:00 +0000

A Busy Week for Marijuana-Legislation in Michigan!

A Busy Week for Marijuana-Legislation in Michigan!

A Busy Week for Marijuana-Legislation in Michigan!

This week saw Michigan’s Legislature actively involved in marijuana-related legislation.

As we reported Wednesday, 24 members of Michigan’s House of Representatives signed onto newly introduced House Bill 5014, a bill that would:

  • “Grandfather” currently operating dispensaries and other unlicensed medical marijuana businesses;
  • Excuse those businesses from the requirement that their local government opt-in to the new licensing framework; and
  • Mandate that the State’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board process applications for state operating licenses by August of 2018 (for applications filed by February 15).

On Thursday, two State Senators introduced companion Senate Bills 599 and 600, bills that mirror House Bill 5014. The Republican sponsor, Sen. Rick Jones, was the Senate champion of Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. Notably, though, while the MMFLA went through the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Jones, these two new bills that would amend the MMFLA were instead referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee.

Apart from the introduction of bills to amend the MMFLA, the Legislature also took action on bills that would restrict billboard advertising and repeal requirements governing the transportation of medical marihuana in vehicles.

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Senate Bill 463, which would prohibit marijuana-related advertising on billboards. The bill was reported to the floor on a 3-2 vote, with opposition centering on First Amendment concerns. Proponents of the bill responded to those issues by arguing that the State already prohibits tobacco advertising on billboards, and has not faced a legal challenge over that law. What those proponents apparently fail to recognize, however, is that the tobacco advertising restrictions are a result of the Master Settlement Agreement of 1990’s State Attorneys General lawsuits against the tobacco companies—and those companies agreed to the restrictions.

Over on the House side of Michigan’s Legislature, the House Law and Justice Committee voted 10-1 to send House Bill 4606 to the floor. This bill would repeal provisions of the Michigan Penal Code that purport to criminalize the transport of medical marihuana in a vehicle other than in an enclosed case inaccessible to the driver. That law has been the source of both controversy and, in some cases, successful legal challenge, because it regulates activity that is otherwise governed by the State’s voter-initiated Medical Marihuana Act. It does so through a separate statute, instead of via an amendment to the MMMA. Not only is this a constitutional vulnerability, but it also means that Michigan medical marihuana patients cannot simply read the MMMA and understand the rules they must follow.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates on Michigan legislative activity.


Published at Thu, 28 Sep 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Michigan House Bill Would “Grandfather” Existing MMJ Businesses—And Override Local Approval Requirements

Michigan House Bill Would “Grandfather” Existing MMJ Businesses—And Override Local Approval Requirements

Michigan House Bill Would “Grandfather” Existing MMJ Businesses—And Override Local Approval Requirements

by Hilary Vigil

Yesterday, State Representative Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), with 21 House Democrat and 3 Republican co-sponsors, introduced a bill that would allow medical marihuana facilities operating on or before August 15, 2017, to remain open until the State can process and approve license applications under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). Lost in media reports about House Bill 5014, however, are two other critical changes the bill would make to the MMFLA, including eliminating requirements for local government approvals.

As we previously reported, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has announced its intent to require in emergency rules that any existing facilities close by December 15, 2017—the day LARA will begin accepting facility license applications—and remain closed until a license is obtained. If a facility remains open after December 15, LARA will consider its continued operation to be “a potential impediment to licensure.” LARA’s position is based on a 2013 Michigan Supreme Court ruling that held that the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) does not allow sales of marihuana other than from a caregiver to that caregiver’s maximum of five connected patients. Unless an existing dispensary is following this model, that dispensary’s activity is illegal (as are sales of “overages” from caregivers to dispensaries).

In a statement in support of HB 5014, Rep. Rabhi argued that existing facilities should not need to close during the time it takes LARA to process applications because those facilities have invested in both the care of their patients and in their communities. The bill is touted as a solution to a so-called transition period for existing facilities because it would allow them to become licensed without a gap in service to patients, many of whom claim that they cannot obtain necessary marijuana products through the caregiver framework of the MMMA.

Besides protecting existing facilities during the transition period, however, HB 5014 would also make two other significant changes to the MMMA.

First, for all applicants for licensure who file complete applications before February 15, 2018, the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board would need to make a licensing decision within six months. (LARA has previously stated that licenses should begin to be issued around April 1, 2018, although on a rolling basis as the State works through what could be hundreds of applications.)

Second, and much more consequentially, HB 5014 would change the regulatory structure of the MMFLA in a way that is not readily apparent. The MMFLA establishes a dual regulatory system: both municipalities and the state have authority to license and regulate medical marijuana facilities. Under section 205(1) of the MMFLA, a municipality must adopt an ordinance authorizing each type of medical marihuana facility before a facility can receive a State license. HB 5014 would completely exempt existing facilities from the municipal authorization requirement. Therefore, an existing facility could remain open while it waited for state approval in a municipality that does not authorize—or perhaps even prohibits—the existing facility type.

Thus, while HB 5014 is being widely touted as simply allowing existing dispensaries seeking state licensure to remain open in the interim (a controversial enough topic), the bill actually works a truly fundamental change to the MMFLA. Notably, Rep. Rabhi’s statement describing the legislation says that the provision concerning local approval only “clarifies” that existing dispensaries would not be barred from licensure just by virtue of operating before authorization under a local ordinance became a requirement. But this is not what the language of HB 5014 would do. Instead, it explicitly provides that the local approval requirement does not apply to any applicant that operated before August 15, 2017, and applies for licensure before February 15, 2018.

Whether these issues with HB 5014 will see amendments during the legislative process—or whether HB 5014 has any legs whatsoever—remains to be seen.

Check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for updates on HB 5014’s progress.


Published at Tue, 26 Sep 2017 16:00:00 +0000