Lansing, Michigan

Phillip Hofmeister

Michigan Helps Dispensaries Fight Shortages, Approves Home Delivery

A looming cannabis shortage in Michigan has been averted after the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board introduced a measure to allow dispensaries to continue purchasing cannabis from previous suppliers, according to The Detroit Free Press.

Michigan has been operating under a hodge-podge of old medical cannabis laws, emergency interim rules, and new laws since passing adult-use legalization during the midterm elections. Before the new measure, dispensaries were given just 30 days following licensure to transition to new producers. However, the state only started handing out licenses to growers in August, so there are virtually zero mature cannabis plants currently available from those suppliers and more than 40 dispensaries were about to transition to the new suppliers.

Previously, dispensaries in the state could get their medical cannabis from caregivers, which are small-scale cannabis growers that were licensed under the state’s 2008 medical cannabis law. Caregivers are allowed to grow up to 12 plants to supply their own needs and 12 each for the needs of up to five others, for a maximum of 72 plants. The state’s emergency rules allow the caregivers to supply medical dispensaries with any cannabis not given to medical cardholders.

The dispensaries — who have already paid more than $75,000 each in regulatory fees — now have some breathing room while the newly licensed cultivators finish growing their first crop.

Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Licensing Board also approved rules allowing for home delivery that take effect immediately. The rule change allows licensed dispensaries to deliver up to 2.5 ounces to a patient’s home and send out up to 10 deliveries in the same vehicle.

Michigan regulators continue to attempt to unify old laws, emergency rules, and new regulations. The state is also attempting to resolve a lawsuit brought by the City of Lansing and others following an attempt by the state to shutter unlicensed cannabis businesses by October 31. A judge squashed that deadline but the lawsuit is still pending.

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