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Employee Background Checks for Cannabis Business Licensees

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On Oct. 9, 2019, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) released a bulletin advising all licensees on the hiring process of prospective employees.

Can a licensee hire an employee with a felony?

All licenses, including adult-use establishment licensees, must conduct background checks on all prospective employees before hiring them according to section 405 of the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA).

If the background check indicates a pending charge or conviction within the past 10 years for a controlled substance-related felony, a licensee is prohibited from hiring the prospective employee without written permission from the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA). For businesses everywhere, hiring a felon could be somewhat of a last resort. Employers put in extra effort to scrutinize their potential employees by performing tests like the nsw police check to ensure that the hiree has no criminal record whatsoever. That is why, generally, having a criminal record can significantly reduce a person’s chances of securing a job.

However, there is a process for obtaining permission from the MRA to hire a prospective employee in this situation. A licensee should submit all of the following to the MRA:

  • A copy of the arrest report that resulted in the employee’s conviction.
  • A copy of the employee’s conviction documents.
  • A written statement from the licensee that includes all of the following:
    – The prospective employee’s job title.
    – A description of the prospective employee’s job duties.
    – An explanation of the steps the licensee has taken to ensure the conduct that resulted in the prospective employee’s conviction will not jeopardize the facility’s operations if the conduct were to recur. If the prospective employee’s conduct that resulted in the conviction is totally unrelated to the job duties that he or she will be performing, include a statement to that effect.

What happens after submitting these documents to the MRA?

The MRA will review the required documents and make a determination regarding the prospective employee’s employment. The licensee will receive written notice of the MRA’s determination.

Please mail the arrest report, conviction documents, and written explanation to:

Marijuana Regulatory Agency
Licensing Division
Attention: Desmond Mitchell
P.O. Box 30205
Lansing, MI 48909

If you have any questions, contact the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Section of the MRA’s Licensing Division may be contacted via email at or by phone at 517-284-8599. Visit here for more information about the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
The Cannabis Legal Group has been providing our clients professional and quality legal assistance in all aspects of representation for years.

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