By: Scott F. Roberts
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Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol 2018: What is a Microbusiness?
One of the biggest ballot initiatives planned for the Michigan 2018 election is the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (RMLA) Act. If passed, the RMLA would legalize the recreational use of marijuana throughout the state for adults 21 years of age or older.
The ballot initiative as currently drafted outlines who can purchase and sell marijuana products, where marijuana products may be used, how employers can treat marijuana use, and how marijuana products will be taxed. One of the biggest changes seen in the RMLA, however, is the creation of a new marijuana business entity called the “Microbusiness”.
Under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), the state of Michigan has authorized 5 different business license types: provisioning center (dispensary); Class A grower operation for 500 plants; Class B grower operation for 1000 plants; Class C grower operation for 1500 plants; secured transporter; safety compliance center; and processor.
The proposed RMLA changes the number of plants each class of growers can have (100, 500, and 2000 respectively), and adds a sixth license type called a “microbusiness”. Under the RMLA, a micro business is a small business licensed to cultivate up to 150 marijuana plants and process, package, and sell that marijuana directly to consumers. Unlike a provisioning center, they cannot sell marijuana or marijuana-infused products produced by other marijuana establishments; and unlike other grower licenses, they cannot wholesale their products to other marijuana establishments.
The idea behind creating marijuana microbusinesses is similar to microbreweries or microdistilleries — it allows a business owner to take their process from marijuana plant to finished marijuana product without the need for additional suppliers. This new license type ensures there will always be opportunities for small marijuana businesses in Michigan, especially for micro businesses willing to provide delivery services.
Because, as of the writing of this article, the RMLA has not been adopted yet, medical marijuana business attorneys are still unclear on the specifics of the application process for the Michigan marijuana microbusiness and how similar or different it will be from the MMFLA process. However, if you are interested in learning more about the RMLA or which type of entity best suits your needs, we recommend reaching out to a Michigan Medical Marijuana Attorney now so as to create a business plan before there is a “microbusiness gold rush” in this already booming industry.
Want help starting your microbusiness today? Our senior attorney, Scott F. Roberts, is at the forefront of micro business law, speaking regularly at conferences on the subject.
If you want our experience behind you, call our knowledgeable attorneys at (248) 234-4060 for a consultation!
Mr. Roberts is the founder and managing member of Scott Roberts Law, a Detroit-based Cannabis Business Law Firm founded in 2014. Scott has spent his entire career representing businesses and helping them comply with municipal, state and local regulations, as well as assisting on transactional corporate and real estate matters. Scott is an accomplished attorney, author and public speaker, having spoke at CannaCon, Cannabis Industrial Marketplace, CannabisAid, and 420 Canna Expo, to name a few. He has also taught Continuing Legal Education on Marijuana business matters, meaning other attorneys see him speak to learn about the nuances of cannabis business law.