There were exciting times yesterday at the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing (MMFLA) board meeting as the dirty laundry of two applicants was laid out for the public to hear and then published on the front page of the Detroit Free Press. MMFLA Section 302(m)(i) allows “all of the information, records … used by the Board related to the background investigation of applicants … to be presented during a public hearing.” At first, we thought it would be illegal to disclose the information and hold the discussion that the Board did. Clearly, they had reviewed the statute with the AG’s office and were able to reveal information and discuss those two pre-qualification applications in the public arena.
Interestingly, there were only two applications of any type to come before the MMFLA Board yesterday. We realize it has only been three months since Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) began receiving applications, but one might have thought there would be more pre-qualification applications by this point to be reviewed and accepted.
Was the purpose of yesterday’s exercise by the MMFLA Board to send a message to all current applicants as well as future ones?
Whether or not that was the intent, the message was clear: Full AND COMPLETE disclosure is a necessity! We have stressed this with our clients. Tell it all! Keep in mind that Homeland Security will find everything once your background check is in the works.
During yesterday’s Board Meeting we also heard that the Regulatory Assessment for the next fiscal year, which begins October 2018, will be $48,000. The price has come down $8,000 from $56,000. Keep in mind though, that a Class A grower pays only $10,000 max per the statute and safety compliance operations are exempt. New licenses or renewals will pay the $48,000 Regulatory Assessment Fee beginning as of October 1, 2018.
BMMR Director Andrew Brisbo reported that the Bureau had received as of the day before the MMFLA Board Meeting 411 Part I Pre-Qualification Applications and 141 “full” Applications. The latter was broken down to nine Class A; two Class B; forty-six Class C; twenty-one Processors; fifty-seven Provisioning Centers; two Transporters; and four Safety Compliance Facilities.
A lot of people have found that the most difficult part of the application process besides locating ALL paperwork, is dealing with land, buildings, and build-out. “Where am I going to be?” “How much can I afford?” “How am I going to build it out to meet all the state and local rules and regulations?” “Will I be able to operate efficiently and financially?”
A lot of people are working on the formation of groups for the Electronic Invoicing Presentment and Payment (EIPP). Others are raising money and seeking investors. Then there is that elusive “location, location, location.” According to the State, as of yesterday, there were only 72 municipalities which have opted-in. That’s only 4 percent of all municipalities in the state of Michigan. Many of those on the list have extremely limited opportunities – say, one Class A and one Provisioning Center.
Those who get in first will have a lead over others. Don’t wait.
While we know that some other municipalities are considering opting in, it’s slow going; much slower than industry proponents felt would occur.
The industry is ripe for growth. Don’t wait, continue to do your work and prepare to be licensed. Get your group together; get your money together; let us assist in getting your documentation together and submitting the application. We predict the MMFLA Board will announce approval of some full applications to grant and issue licenses at the April 19 meeting. CannaLex Law will be there with our clients to pay the fee, present the insurance certificates, and pick up the licenses. Those licensees will be in business later that day or the next. At that time, the cannabis industry will be off and running in Michigan.