By: Scott F. Roberts
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How Do I Get A Medical Marijuana Business License?
You’ve decided that medical marijuana is a growing industry and you want to get your license for a medical marijuana facility…but where do you get started? Between the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Emergency Rules, it can be a little overwhelming.
The first step is to look at what kind of service you want to provide under the MMFLA. The licenses are broken into 5 categories:
Grower. Do you want to grow marijuana in Michigan? You’ll have to choose which class of grower license (A, B, or C) that you want to apply for. The classes dictate how many plants you can grow and how much capital you will need for your license, amongst other requirements.
Provisioning Center. A provisioning center is also known as a marijuana dispensary. To own a provisioning center, you cannot have a financial interest in any secure transporter or safety compliance facility. Your business will also be assessed a 3% special tax of your retail gross income.
Processor. A processor under the MMFLA is a business that uses marijuana from growers and creates extracts, edibles and other marijuana-infused products.
Secure Transporter. A secure transporter transports marijuana, and sometimes money, between licensed facilities. You also cannot be a registered patient or caregiver.
Safety Compliance Facility. A safety compliance facility tests marijuana for THC content, other cannabinoids, and other possible contaminants. You do need to hold or employ someone who holds a relevant advanced degree in medical or laboratory science.
Once you’ve picked what kind of license you want, you have to submit the applications. One of the new benefits under LARA’s Emergency Rules is that the MMFLA application process has been divided into two steps – prequalification and license qualification. This two-step process allows you to begin the application process by completing step one and getting clearance for yourself and your business before you have a location for your medical marijuana facility established.
To begin the Step One application process, you’ll need to make sure that you aren’t ineligible for a license. There is a very long list of prerequisites before you can apply for your medical marijuana license in Michigan, including whether you have a criminal history, how long you’ve lived in the State of Michigan, whether you can provide enough capital for the license, and whether your city or township has adopted an opt-in ordinance to allow a marijuana facility in their municipality. Another issue that can create problems is whether you provided false information on a previous application. The application itself is 40 pages long and requires so much information that we recommend you hire a Michigan medical marijuana business attorney to help you fill it out, as it could impact your ability to obtain a license if you submit the application without the correct information.
Once you’ve gotten prequalified, you can submit a Step 2 application for your license qualification. The Step 2 application describes your business details and the location you’ve secured to open your medical marijuana facility. This application requires many supplemental documents to be submitted with it, or you risk being rejected.
By hiring a Michigan medical marijuana business lawyer, you can save time and money in getting your MMFLA application submitted and approved quickly and without issue.
Mr. Roberts is the founder and managing member of Scott F. Roberts Law, PLC, a Detroit-based business law firm. Mr. Roberts has spent his entire career representing businesses and helping them comply with municipal, local and state regulations. Upon being admitted to the Michigan Bar in 2010, Mr. Roberts went to work as a corporate and healthcare attorney for the Detroit-based law firm of Dickinson Wright. In 2014, he left the firm to start his own business practice, Scott F. Roberts Law, PLC. After passage of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, or MMFLA, Mr. Roberts expanded his practice area to include Marijuana Business Law. Mr. Roberts is a member of the Business Law and Marijuana Law sections of the State Bar.Prior to being admitted to the Michigan Bar, Mr. Roberts attended the University of Miami School of Law, graduating in 2010 with high honors.
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