Michigan Judge Blocks the Shutdown of 98 Dispensaries

A judge in Michigan has blocked an effort by state officials to shutter 98 medical cannabis dispensaries, the Associated Press reports.

Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello, at the request of one dispensary’s lawyer, issued an injunction on Thursday to allow all dispensaries in the state to remain open during this period of extended licensing delays.

Regulators previously announced that medical cannabis businesses who were late in submitting parts of their application would receive cease-and-desist letters telling them to shut down sometime next week. By their count, officials had aimed to shutter 98 — nearly half — of the state’s dispensaries, putting hundreds if not thousands of cannabis industry employees out of work.

December 15 is the new target date for regulators to fully license medical cannabis businesses. This is the third time a deadline for Michigan‘s medical cannabis licensing process has been softened or delayed.

Michigan’s medical cannabis landscape has been marred this year with delays and controversies as regulators work to properly license the state’s retailers, including a trend of dispensaries receiving fake cease and desist letters and a Governor-ordered investigation into bribery accusations in the industry.

Voters in the state will decide whether to legalize adult-use cannabis at the ballot boxes this November.

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