Brian Shamblen

Michigan Localities Taking Steps to Reign in & License MMJ Industry

Michigan’s legislative changes to the state’s medical cannabis program are starting to shape the state’s industry as law enforcement officials in Grand Traverse County have served cease and desist notices to eight county dispensaries, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reports. The crackdown comes at the behest of county Prosecutor Bob Cooney, who pointed to provisions of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act which, according to two court cases, “does not permit dispensaries or collectives.”

“Consequently, you are hereby notified to comply with the law, and cease and desist immediately the dispensing of marihuana, and/or allowing patients to transfer marihuana to each other on your premises,” the legal notice to the dispensaries states, warning owners that they would be subject to civil, and possibly criminal, charges if they do not halt operations.

Meanwhile, officials in Lansing have begun the application process for dispensaries allowed under the new rules. According to a Lansing State Journal report, beginning on Oct. 9, City Clerk Chris Swope will start accepting applications for testing laboratories, processors, transporters, and cultivators. Officials have not announced when they would begin accepting dispensary applications.

“My goal is for this process is to be as fair and efficient as possible in the selection of provisioning centers that protects the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the city with the criteria set forth in the ordinance,” Swope said in a statement to the Journal. “In addition, I know that many Lansing residents depend on these products for their well-being and we need to move quickly to reduce disruption in access.”

The state licensing process, which is required along with local licenses, begins on Dec. 15.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the Lansing licenses will be accepted Oct. 9. They will be available for prospective operators today.

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