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Michigan Opens Medical Marijuana Growing Business to Large Scale Operators

Oct 11th, 2017 Marijuana Laws Michigan Opens Medical Marijuana Growing Business to Large Scale Operators

Michigan will let large marijuana growers apply for and obtain multiple licenses in a single location. Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs recently published an advisory bulletin that will allow a licensee to apply for multiple, or stacked, class C grow licenses. Each class C license allows a grower to cultivate up to 1,500 marijuana plants in one location.

One person or business can apply for an unlimited number of Class C licenses, which allows mega-marijuana growers to compete in Michigan’s marketplace. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs explained that offering stacking of the licenses will allow medical marijuana growers to operate more efficiently, which helps consumers.

Critics opine that the large growers will squeeze the smaller operators out of Michigan’s lucrative medical marijuana industry. Michigan’s medical marijuana business is expected to generate over $700 million and $20 million yearly in tax revenues.

Applicants for stacked licenses will have to complete an additional application as well as a regulatory assessment, which will be more expensive for mega-growers. Depending on the number of applications, the fee for license applicants will range from $4,000 to $8,000. The regulatory assessment is sliding from $10,000 for the smallest grower to $57,000 for big growers, transporters, and dispensaries. Additionally, all applicants must show that they have sufficient capital, insurance, and security.

Applications for the five classes of medical marijuana licenses (dispensaries growers, processors, testers, and transporters) will be available on December 15. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board will start awarding licenses spring 2018. There will also be a newly created three percent tax on provisioning centers.

Attorney Patrick Barone observed, “The effect of this ruling is that it may push smaller operators out of Michigan’s new and expected extremely profitable medical marijuana business.”