Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has signed an executive order eliminating the state’s medical cannabis licensing board, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The volunteer board had been tasked with considering license applications but had struggled to keep pace, causing the state medical cannabis program to fall behind projected growth rates. It has also been the subject of criticism for inconsistent licensing decisions.
“This executive order will eliminate inefficiencies that have made it difficult to meet the needs of Michigan’s medical marijuana patients,” said Gov. Whitmer.
The state legislature has the power to veto the governor’s order, but Whitmer said she spoke to the state Congressional leadership before issuing the order.
Licenses will now be handled by a subdepartment of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.
“To avoid licensing delays and to better coordinate varying sources of authority for the enforcement of state law, the administration of state laws relating to marijuana can more effectively and efficiently be administered by a dedicated state agency,” said Whitmer.
When the state’s adult-use program comes online, it will also fall under this department. To date, the licensing shortfalls for medical cannabis have been handled by allowing unlicensed businesses to continue operating, though that leniency period ends on March 31.
Michigan‘s soon-to-be-defunct Marijuana Licensing Board will fully shutter on April 30.
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