A cannabis budtender places a sticky label onto the packaging for an eighth of cannabis flower.

Amarett Jans

Michigan regulators have decided to allow the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries to continue operating without facing an impediment to receiving an operations license under the new regime. Previously, state Department of Licensing and Regulation officials had warned that businesses continuing to operate without state or municipal approval would not be considered for license approval when the new rules take effect in the state.

In August, Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board Chairman Donald Bailey suggested that all dispensaries would need to cease operations by Sept. 15 in order to be eligible for licenses under the legislatively-mandated reforms, arguing that “every dispensary” in the state “is in open violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.”

However, the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation has decided not to punish current operators “after dozens of hours of public comments, discussions with more than 100 workgroup members and numerous letters and emails.”

“…It is clear that BMMR and the [MMLB] must enact measures that help protect medical marihuana patients and ensure they have continued access to their medicine,” said BMMR Director Andrew Brisbo in a statement. “Through emergency rules, the Bureau and Board will not consider a medical marihuana facility’s prior operation as an impediment to licensure as long as the applicant documents approval from their municipality in their application.”

The BMMR also announced it would accept pre-qualification license applications from current operators until Feb. 15, 2018 and LARA and the MMLB would begin issuing licenses by April 2018 or sooner.

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