Michigan regulators are poised to enforce a March 31 deadline for about 50 unlicensed medical cannabis dispensaries to close but are recommending allowing licensed facilities to continue to buy product from caregivers after that date.
The caregiver extension is critical to ensuring enough medical marijuana supplies are on the market while the state transitions to a smaller, more restrictive market, experts said.
Michigan cannabis attorney Michael Stein noted in an interview with Marijuana Business Daily that the caregiver products must be tested before being distributed.
Michigan’s MMJ market under the new regulatory framework generated sales of $42 million in its first four months of operation, exceeding the expectations of many, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“Caregiver supply is the only reason some provisioning centers are open right now,” Rick Thompson, a longtime marijuana activist and a principal in the Michigan Cannabis Business Development Group, told MJBizDaily.
The state’s recommendation will be voted on by the medical marijuana licensing board on March 21.
In recent weeks, state regulators have issued a number of recalls regarding unsafe products that originated from caregivers.
Here’s the situation in Michigan:
- So far, the state’s MMJ licensing board has approved 121 permits under the new system, including 54 dispensaries.
- Roughly 50 unlicensed dispensaries are still operating, according to the Free Press.
- The licensing board has one more meeting scheduled before the March 31 deadline to consider additional license applications.
- State regulators say cease-and-desist letters will be served to unlicensed facilities in early April.
- Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has called for the licensing board to be abolished April 30 and for a new agency to oversee licensing for Michigan’s MMJ market and nascent recreational market.