Michigan Cannabis License Guidelines

Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency

Licensing and Enforcement Criteria

The Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) is the guiding authority in Michigan’s legal cannabis market.  The Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) regulates the state’s adult-use cannabis establishments and licensees in accordance with the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) is a state registry program within the CRA. The program administers the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act as approved by Michigan voters.

The Board had previously set, when the law first passed in 2019, as requirements for dispensary owner’s the following criteria:

  • No felony within 10 years
  • No misdemeanors involving controlled substances within five years
  • No local ordinance violations within five years
  • Must be 21 years old

Michigan Cannabis Law & Compliance

Several laws and ordinances regulate the Michigan commercial cannabis industry, as well as the many different steps in the supply chain. These laws range over dispositions for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail dispensaries. The most recent news can be found on these websites:

FAQs

How do I submit my application?

The application should be completed and uploaded to ACA. 

To submit your application, follow the link – Accela Online Citizen Portal

Applications can also be submitted in person at the address provided below. Please note, applicants that do not have a social security number will need to submit a paper application.

2407 N. Grand River Avenue
Lansing, MI 48906

How does the application process work?

The application process is divided into a two-step process.  This two-step process allows applicants to begin the application process by completing Step One (Pre-qualification) before a location for the medical marijuana facility is established.

Step One – Pre-qualification

The first step is pre-qualification which includes a full background check of the applicant and all supplemental applicants. Before an applicant’s pre-qualification materials can be reviewed, the applicant must pay the non-refundable $6,000 application fee. The MRA will notify the applicant when and where fingerprints can be taken. Local law enforcement agencies will not collect fingerprints for the MRA and the MRA will not accept fingerprint reports completed by applicants before the applicants are instructed to have their fingerprints collected.

Step Two – State Operating License

The second step requires information specific to the physical location of the applicant’s facility.  It is recommended that the applicant not submit their Step 2 application more than 60 days prior to the facility being ready for inspection. This helps to assure that the information provided regarding the facility is in final form and accurate.

Under Section 205 of the MMFLA, the Agency cannot issue a license to a facility intending to operate in a municipality unless the municipality in which the applicant’s proposed marihuana facility will operate has adopted an ordinance that authorizes that type of facility. An applicant’s physical location must be in a municipality with an ordinance compliant with Section 205 requirements. Any questions about municipal ordinances should be directed toward the appropriate municipal authority.

After the facility has received approval for the state operating license from MRA, the applicant must pay the regulatory assessment for each license the applicant is issued within ten business days of being approved.

Grower Class A regulatory assessments are capped at $10,000 by statute.

Grower B and C, Processor, Provisioning Center, and Secure Transporter regulatory assessments are dependent on the number of total licenses subject to assessment. The fee is set annually for the current fiscal year and is published by an advisory bulletin.

Safety Compliance Facilities do not have a regulatory assessment.

Should I submit my full application (Step 1 and 2) together?

Step 1 (pre-qualification) must be achieved before an applicant can move forward with their Step 2.  Step 2 (facility license application) will not be reviewed until the main applicant has received pre-qualification status.

It is recommended that the applicant not submit their Step 2 application more than 60 days prior to the facility being ready for inspection. This helps to assure that the information provided regarding the facility is in final form and accurate.  When submitting the Step 2 application, be sure to use the checklist on the first page and submit all required documentation.

How will I be contacted by the CRA?

The applicant can expect communication to come from the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) through the following methods:

  • Accela Citizen Access (ACA), which is the citizen user portal. The email communication will direct the applicant to view their dashboard on ACA for more information.
  • A response to an email from Outlook
  • Telephone
  • Mail

What will the costs be for a state operating license?

The initial costs of a license at the state level include the application fee and the regulatory assessment fee. Additional costs at the state level are authorized under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) and may be required.

Any municipality fee is not determined or collected by CRA. Applicants will need to find out this information from their local municipality.

Section 401(5) of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) requires the setting of application fee amounts for each category and class of license by rule.

  1. Application Fee: The application fee is non-refundable and offsets the cost for LARA, the Michigan State Police (MSP), and/or contract costs for investigative services for conducting the background investigation of those applying for licenses. The nonrefundable application fee, which must be submitted before an application will be processed, will be $3,000. 
  2. Annual Regulatory Assessment: The regulatory assessment is due prior to the issuance of each license and may vary depending on the number of licenses anticipated to be issued. The regulatory assessment does not apply to safety compliance facilities. This assessment offsets operational costs and other statutory mandates including LARA’s costs to implement the act. It also offsets the cost of medical-marijuana-related services provided to LARA by the Michigan Attorney General’s office, MSP, and the Dept. of Treasury. By statute, the assessment must also provide $500,000 annually to LARA for licensing substance abuse disorder programs in addition to five percent of the other state departments’ costs to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for substance abuse-related expenses. The regulatory assessment is set annually by bulletin and can be found on this page.
  3. Additional Costs: If required, the applicant may need to pay additional costs. The MMFLA authorizes the following:
    1. Late renewal fees as established by rule (Section 402(11))
    2. Actual costs of investigation and processing that exceed the application fee paid by an applicant (Section 401(5))

Can licensed Michigan provisioning centers accept visiting qualifying marijuana patient cards?

Per the Marijuana Sale or Transfer Rule Set a provisioning center may sell or transfer marijuana product to a visiting qualifying patient if all the following are met:

  • The licensee verifies that the visiting qualifying patient has a valid unexpired medical marijuana registry card – or its equivalent – issued in another state, district, territory, commonwealth, or insular possession of the United States that allows the medical use of marijuana.
  • The licensee confirms that the visiting qualifying patient presented his or her valid driver license or government-issued identification card that bears a photographic image of the visiting qualifying patient.
  • The licensee determines, if completed, that any transfer or sale will not exceed the purchasing limit prescribed in the Marijuana Sale or Transfer Rule Set.
  • Any marijuana product that is sold or transferred under this rule has been tested and is labelled and packaged for sale or transfer in accordance with the Marijuana Sale or Transfer Rule Set.

As used in this sub rule, “visiting qualifying patient” means that term as defined in Section 3 of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, 2008 IL 1, MCL 333.26423.

Michigan Cannabis License Types

Grower A, B, C License

  1. A grower license authorizes the grower to grow not more than the following number of marijuana plants under the indicated license class for each license the grower holds in that class:
    1. Class A – 500 marijuana plants
    2. Class B – 1,000 marijuana plants
    3. Class C – 1,500 marijuana plants.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a grower license authorizes sale of marijuana plants to a grower only by means of a secure transporter. A grower license authorizes the sale or transfer of seeds, seedlings, or tissue cultures to a grower from a registered primary caregiver or another grower without using a secure transporter.
  3. A grower license authorizes a grower to transfer marijuana without using a secure transporter to a processor or provisioning center if both of the following are met:
    1. The processor or provisioning center occupies the same location as the grower and the marijuana is transferred using only private real property without accessing public roadways.
    2. The grower enters each transfer into the statewide monitoring system.
  4. A grower license authorizes sale of marijuana, other than seeds, seedlings, tissue cultures, and cuttings, to a processor or provisioning center.
  5. Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3) and section 505, a grower license authorizes the grower to transfer marijuana only by means of a secure transporter.
  6. To be eligible for a grower license, the applicant and each investor in the grower must not have an interest in a secure transporter or safety compliance facility.
  7. Until December 31, 2018, for a period of 30 days after the issuance of a grower license and in accord with rules, a grower may transfer any of the following that are lawfully possessed by an individual formerly registered as a primary caregiver who is an active employee of the grower:
    1. Marijuana plants
    2. Seeds
    3. Seedlings
  8. A grower shall comply with all of the following:
    1. Until December 31, 2021, have, or have as an active employee an individual who has, a minimum of 2 years’ experience as a registered primary caregiver.
    2. While holding a license as a grower, not be a registered primary caregiver and not employ an individual who is simultaneously a registered primary caregiver.
    3. Enter all transactions, current inventory, and other information into the statewide monitoring system as required in this act, rules, and the marijuana tracking act.
  9. A grower license does not authorize the grower to operate in an area unless the area is zoned for industrial or agricultural uses or is un-zoned and otherwise meets the requirements established in section 205(1).

Safety Compliance Facilities

  1. In addition to transfer and testing authorized in section 203, a safety compliance facility license authorizes the safety compliance facility to do all of the following without using a secure transporter:

      (a) Take marijuana from, test marijuana for, and return marijuana to only a marijuana facility.

      (b) Collect a random sample of marijuana at the marijuana facility of a grower, processor, or provisioning center for testing.

  2. A safety compliance facility must be accredited by an entity approved by the board by 1 year after the date the license is issued or have previously provided drug testing services to this state or this state’s court system and be a vendor in good standing in regard to those services. The board may grant a variance from this requirement upon a finding that the variance is necessary to protect and preserve the public health, safety, or welfare.
  3. To be eligible for a safety compliance facility license, the applicant and each investor with any interest in the safety compliance facility must not have an interest in a grower, secure transporter, processor, or provisioning center.
  4. A safety compliance facility shall comply with all of the following:

      (a) Perform tests to certify that marijuana is reasonably free of chemical residues such as fungicides and insecticides.

      (b) Use validated test methods to determine tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabinol acid, cannabidiol, and cannabidiol acid levels.

      (c) Perform tests that determine whether marijuana complies with the standards the board establishes for microbial and mycotoxin contents.

      (d) Perform other tests necessary to determine compliance with any other good manufacturing practices as prescribed in rules.

      (e) Enter all transactions, current inventory, and other information into the statewide monitoring system as required in this act, rules, and the marijuana tracking act.

      (f) Have a secured laboratory space that cannot be accessed by the general public.

      (g) Retain and employ at least 1 staff member with a relevant advanced degree in a medical or laboratory science.

  5. This act does not prohibit a safety compliance facility from taking or receiving industrial hemp for testing purposes and testing the industrial hemp pursuant to the industrial hemp research and development act.

Processor License

  1. A processor license authorizes purchase of marijuana only from a grower and sale of marijuana-infused products or marijuana only to a provisioning center or another processor.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in section 505 and this subsection, a processor license authorizes the processor to transfer marijuana only by means of a secure transporter. A processor license authorizes a processor to transfer marijuana without using a secure transporter to a grower or provisioning center if both of the following are met:

      (a) The grower or provisioning center occupies the same location as the processor and the marijuana is transferred using only private real property without accessing public roadways.

      (b) The processor enters each transfer into the statewide monitoring system.

  3. To be eligible for a processor license, the applicant and each investor in the processor must not have an interest in a secure transporter or safety compliance facility.
  4. Until December 31, 2018, for a period of 30 days after the issuance of a processor license and in accord with rules, a processor may transfer any of the following that are lawfully possessed by an individual formerly registered as a primary caregiver who is an active employee of the processor:

      (a) marijuana plants.

      (b) Usable marijuana.

  5. A processor shall comply with all of the following:

      (a) Until December 31, 2021, have, or have as an active employee an individual who has, a minimum of 2 years’ experience as a registered primary caregiver.

      (b) While holding a license as a processor, not be a registered primary caregiver and not employ an individual who is simultaneously a registered primary caregiver.

      (c) Enter all transactions, current inventory, and other information into the statewide monitoring system as required in this act, rules, and the marijuana tracking act.

    This act does not prohibit a processor from handling, processing, marketing, or brokering, as those terms are defined in section 2 of the industrial hemp research and development act, MCL 286.842, industrial hemp.

Secure Transporter License

  1. A secure transporter license authorizes the licensee to store and transport marihuana and money associated with the purchase or sale of marijuana between marijuana facilities for a fee upon request of a person with legal custody of that marijuana or money. It does not authorize transport to a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver. If a secure transporter has its primary place of business in a municipality that has adopted an ordinance under section 205 authorizing that marijuana facility, the secure transporter may travel through any municipality.
  2. To be eligible for a secure transporter license, the applicant and each investor with an interest in the secure transporter must not have an interest in a grower, processor, provisioning center, or safety compliance facility and must not be a registered qualifying patient or a registered primary caregiver.
  3. A secure transporter shall enter all transactions, current inventory, and other information into the statewide monitoring system as required in this act, rules, and the Marijuana Tracking Act.
  4. A secure transporter shall comply with all of the following:
    1. Each driver transporting marijuana must have a chauffeur’s license issued by this state.
    2. Each employee who has custody of marijuana or money that is related to a marijuana transaction shall not have been convicted of or released from incarceration for a felony under the laws of this state, any other state, or the United States within the past 5 years or have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving a controlled substance within the past 5 years.
    3. Each vehicle must be operated with a 2-person crew with at least 1 individual remaining with the vehicle at all times during the transportation of marijuana.
    4. A route plan and manifest must be entered into the statewide monitoring system, and a copy must be carried in the transporting vehicle and presented to a law enforcement officer upon request.
    5. The marijuana must be transported in 1 or more sealed containers and not be accessible while in transit.
    6. A secure transporting vehicle must not bear markings or other indication that it is carrying marijuana or a marihuana-infused product.
  5. A secure transporter is subject to administrative inspection by a law enforcement officer at any point during the transportation of marijuana to determine compliance with this act.

Provisioning Center License

  1. A provisioning center license authorizes the purchase or transfer of marijuana only from a grower or processor and sale or transfer to only a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver. Except as otherwise provided in section 505 and this subsection, all transfers of marijuana to a provisioning center from a separate marijuana facility must be by means of a secure transporter. A transfer of marijuana to a provisioning center from a marijuana facility that occupies the same location as the provisioning center does not require a secure transporter if the marijuana is transferred to the provisioning center using only private real property without accessing public roadways.
  2. A provisioning center license authorizes the provisioning center to transfer marijuana to or from a safety compliance facility for testing by means of a secure transporter or as provided in section 505.
  3. To be eligible for a provisioning center license, the applicant and each investor in the provisioning center must not have an interest in a secure transporter or safety compliance facility.
  4. A provisioning center shall comply with all of the following:
    1. Sell or transfer marijuana to a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver only after it has been tested and bears the label required for retail sale.
    2. Enter all transactions, current inventory, and other information into the statewide monitoring system as required in this act, rules, and the Marijuana Tracking Act.
    3. Before selling or transferring marijuana to a registered qualifying patient or to a registered primary caregiver on behalf of a registered qualifying patient, inquire of the statewide monitoring system to determine whether the patient and, if applicable, the caregiver hold a valid, current, unexpired, and irrevoked registry identification card and that the sale or transfer will not exceed the daily and monthly purchasing limit established by the medical marijuana licensing board under this act.
    4. Not allow the sale, consumption, or use of alcohol or tobacco products on the premises.
    5. Not allow a physician to conduct a medical examination or issue a medical certification document on the premises for the purpose of obtaining a registry identification card.

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