City skyline of Detroit, Michigan.

Bryan Debus

Michigan Regulators to Shutter 98 Dispensaries

98 of Michigan’s medical cannabis dispensaries will need to close down until at least December after state regulators on Tuesday adopted new emergency rules, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Under the new rules, some 108 dispensaries will get to remain open until December 15 — these were the businesses whose owners submitted their initial licensing applications prior to the February 15 deadline, got approval from their host communities, and submitted the second step of the application by its June 15 deadline.

The 98 dispensaries who must close finished the first step of the process on time, but did not make the second deadline. If they remain open, they will forfeit their ability to receive a full license. With their closure, hundreds if not thousands of cannabis industry workers will be out of work for the immediate future. The dispensaries in question will receive cease-and-desist letters from the state next week; the full list of businesses who must close will be made public at that time.

However, the businesses who have had their licenses approved are not yet fully in the clear: dispensaries who have been given the go-ahead must — after a second emergency rule adoption — pay a $48,000 regulatory assessment fee within 10 days or shut down until they have the necessary funds.

December 15 is the state’s third extended deadline for medical cannabis dispensaries to either be fully licensed or shut down.

“We’re trying to move the process along. … This extension focuses on ensuring access.” — Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, via the Detroit Free Press

Meanwhile, voters in Michigan will consider an adult-use legalization ballot initiative this November. According to the latest poll results, voters favor legalization by a margin of about 56 percent, with 38 percent opposed and 6 percent undecided.

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