Today, December 20, 2016, the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) becomes legally effective as a law in the State of Michigan. It was signed by the governor 90 days ago. It did not have an immediate effect. TODAY it is effective.
What does that mean now?
The Clock is Ticking
Beginning 360 days from today the applications for the five licenses may first be submitted to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) for marijuana facilities licenses.
Where Do You Want to Locate?
If you have not already done so, you should begin finding the municipality where you want to operate and lobby the municipal officials to adopt an ordinance which will allow marijuana facility operations. Without a municipal ordinance, LARA cannot issue a license for that jurisdiction and your application is worthless. We advise clients to make a list of their top 5 to 10 locations, then determine the names of the municipal officials in those places. Call them up and ask them what they are considering doing about the MMFLA. If they tell you there will be NO MMFLA facilities in their jurisdiction (like what occurred in Saginaw Township in Michigan with the ban on medical marijuana facilities), scratch them off your list.
License Applications Will Probably Be Strict
The MMFLA is strict and restricted as to who or what can qualify for a license. Begin evaluating your potential investors, designing your business plan, finding insurance coverage, and doing all the other things you need to do to start a business. We are working with groups and evaluating, as best we can under the law, who or what will likely qualify. Certain individuals will be excluded so they best know now and any group which might include them best know now.
The Clock Really IS Ticking
While 360 days sounds like a long time, it will go fast. The process of rule-making should begin as soon as a Board is appointed by the Governor. Rulemaking and approval will take a while. Waiting until they are done might not be the best plan. We anticipate lengthy and thorough applications and document request. The sooner you start, the better position you (and we if we are your attorneys and counselors) will be in to file that application on the early morning of December 15, 2017.
November saw surprising results in the polls. Marijuana legalization measures had great success in many places – including California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts. Donald Trump surprised many by winning the Presidency. And the Trump surprises for marijuana legalization may continue. So pay attention to developments, and don’t forget that state law legalization is only part of the picture.
As always, we are ready, willing and able to assist those interested in knowing more, and those who want to pursue the marijuana facilities licenses that LARA will begin to issue after 360 days from TODAY.