State Allows Caregivers to Supply Cannabis While Industry Ramps up

“In the business world, bad news is usually good news – 
for somebody else.”

 James Surowiecki

First, the good news. Earlier today, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) announced it would recommend that at the March meeting of the Michigan Medical Licensing Board (Board), the Board adopt a resolution to allow licensed growers and processors to accept cannabis from caregivers in order to maintain sufficient supplies while the industry ramps up production.

The growers and processors must put the product received from caregivers into the statewide monitoring system and test it before moving to provisioning centers.

 LARA also indicated that accepting caregiver product will not jeopardize growers and processor licenses. The ability to acquire product from caregivers will continue until such time as LARA determines that there exists sufficient supply for the market.

Now, the bad news. Presently unlicensed medical cannabis dispensaries were allowed to remain open until March 31, while they waited for approvals for their pending applications. Many of these facilities were expecting (maybe, hoping) that the deadline for closing would be extended further. If they were, they’ll be disappointed.

The LARA announcement also provides that the March 31 drop dead date is final. Temporarily operating facilities must close on that date. LARA intends to send cease and desist letters for facilities that remain open in April. Further, continued operation will likely negatively impact pending license applications.

So, the good news is that product should be available to patients while the medical cannabis industry gets up to speed. The bad news is that many currently open operations will need to close while their applications are pending.

Hopefully, under the new Marijuana Regulatory Agency, the application process will speed up and more provisioning centers will be available for patients.

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