Michigan

Michigan Cannabis Business Licenses

WHAT IS MICHIGAN'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?

Michigan has both an adult-use and a Medical Cannabis Program, and an Industrial Hemp Program that was approved by the USDA in 2020. On October 12, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill into law aiming to expunge past low-level cannabis convictions. In December 2019 Michigan cannabis businesses launched operations with sales of nearly $1.6 million in the first week, in spite of dispensary reports of low inventories. On March 1, 2021 the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency lifted the eligibility restriction, which required an applicant to hold an active medical marijuana license to be eligible for an adult-use license.

WHAT ARE MICHIGAN'S CANNABIS LAWS?

Michigan voters approved Proposition 1 in 2018 to end cannabis prohibition and effectively legalize adult-use cannabis. Michigan’s House of Representatives passed a series of bills in November 2019 that allowed for increased cannabis criminal history expungement, including over 200,000 cases of misdemeanor cannabis convictions. Michigan’s Senate has yet to approve the legislation; however, based on prior support of Michigan cannabis legislation, it is expected Governor Gretchen Whitmer will sign the bills into law.

Governor Whitmer established the Marijuana Regulatory Agency within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to oversee and implement the Michigan cannabis license process, and regulation of cannabis businesses. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency released adult-use regulations for grower, processor, and retailer licenses.

The legislation allows for more progressive provisions, including on-site cannabis consumption licenses and temporary events. In addition to these unique provisions, Michigan continues to support communities that have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition through business education and licensing support.  The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency implemented a Social Equity Program offering qualifying individuals and businesses with fee reductions, outreach, and education sessions, and a business resource directory to support potential business owners in the Program.

Stay informed about the latest changes in Michigan Cannabis Law subscribing to our weekly newsletter!

WHAT IS MICHIGAN'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?

Application Resources

The steps to receiving an adult-use (recreational) establishment license are as follows:

Social Equity Program Application

Any applicants who qualify for the Social Equity Program must apply with the Social Equity Program before submitting an application for prequalification.

The steps to receiving an adult-use (recreational) establishment license are as follows:

Social Equity Program Application

Any applicants who qualify for the Social Equity Program must apply with the Social Equity Program before submitting an application for prequalification.

    WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN MICHIGAN?

    In November 2008, Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, also known as the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative. This groundbreaking measure allows qualifying medical cannabis patients with a physician's recommendation to possess up to two and one-half ounces of cannabis. Patients can receive a physician’s recommendation for treatment of a limited list of qualifying medical conditions. The measure allows patients/caregivers to grow up to 12 cannabis plants at home, but does not explicitly allow for dispensaries to operate. The passage of Prop 1 made Michigan the 13th state to legalize the medical use of cannabis, and is the first Midwestern state to do so.

    In September 2016, Governor Rick Snyder signed a package of bills that, among other reforms, allowed the operation and regulation of medical cannabis dispensaries and set a taxation rate of 3% on medical cannabis sales. This package of bills also explicitly approved the use of non-smokable forms of cannabis such as topicals and edibles.

    In November 2017, activists pushing for adult-use cannabis legalization submitted 365,000 signatures to put a measure on the 2018 ballot. In June 2018, state lawmakers declined the option to pass the measure themselves, sending it to the November ballot. In November 2018, Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 making Michigan the tenth state and the first in the Midwest to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

    DOES MICHIGAN HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?

    In November 2008 Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, also known as the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative. This groundbreaking measure allows qualifying medical cannabis patients with a physician's recommendation to possess up to two and one-half ounces of cannabis. Patients can receive a physician’s recommendation for treatment of a limited list of qualifying medical conditions. The measure allows patients/caregivers to grow up to 12 cannabis plants at home, but does not explicitly allow for dispensaries to operate. The passage of Prop 1 made Michigan the 13th state to legalize the medical use of cannabis, and is the first Midwestern state to do so.

    In September 2016 Governor Rick Snyder signed a package of bills, which among other reforms, allowed the operation and regulation of medical cannabis dispensaries, and set a taxation rate of 3% on medical cannabis sales. This package of bills also explicitly approved the use of non-smokable forms of cannabis, such as topicals and edibles.

    In November 2017, activists pushing for adult-use cannabis legalization submitted 365,000 signatures to put a measure on the 2018 ballot. In June 2018 state lawmakers declined the option to pass the measure, and instead placed it on the November 2018 ballot. In November 2018 Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 making Michigan the tenth state and the first in the Midwest to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

    DOES MICHIGAN HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?

    In January 2019 the Michigan Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, also known as Public Act 641, established a licensing program for persons engaged in the growing, processing, and handling of industrial hemp. Under this Act anyone who grows industrial hemp or processes, handles, brokers, or markets industrial hemp in Michigan, must obtain a registration or license from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). Persons who obtain the appropriate registration, or license will be permitted to grow, process, handle, broker, or market industrial hemp in conformance with Michigan law. In order to be in conformance with both state and federal law, participation in an Ag Pilot Program is required.

    In October, 2020 MDARD received federal approval of the state’s Industrial Hemp Plan. This plan establishes regulatory requirements for cultivating industrial hemp and gives MDARD primary oversight of industrial hemp production in Michigan. USDA approval signifies the Industrial Hemp Plan complies with the 2018 Farm Bill requirements and the USDA’s Interim Final Rule. The pertinent forms for the Industrial Hemp Program, including the Hemp Grower Registration Application and the Hemp Processor-Handler Application can be found here.

    ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE MICHIGAN CANNABIS MARKET?

    Michigan is accepting state applications on a rolling basis for new and existing cannabis facilities, dependent on the local authorization. It is never too early to start developing your cannabis business plan for your Michigan cannabis establishment or to secure an operating license with our templated documents. Point7 is pleased to offer products and service packages to operators at all stages of the cannabis business life cycle—whether you are just getting started, or are a seasoned operator thinking about expansion.

    WANT TO LEARN MORE?