Springfield, OR, USA - November 12, 2015: Cannabis LLC Organic Medicine is a new medical marijuana dispensary in Springfield Oregon.

On September 21, 2016 a historic day for the medical marijuana system in Michigan was created. Governor Rick Snyder signed into law “landmark” legislation that will create a highly regulated industry for the commercial cultivation and sale for medical cannabis, allowing people to set up distilleries and programs similar to this njmmp new jersey distillery. The State of Michigan’s new Medical Marijuana Licensing Board will have until December 15, 2017 to begin creating and accepting applications for one of five different licenses:

  1. A grower (classes A, B, C)
  2. A processor (marijuana infused products)
  3. A secure transporter
  4. A provisioning center (dispensary)
  5. A safety compliance facility

1. Obtain a license from the city in which you want to operate

Before the state will even consider granting an application you must have a license from the City. This makes identifying and securing a location as soon as possible incredibly important right now. Every city will decide how many medical marijuana facilities they will allow, if any, and where they will be located. Most cities are now working on a proposed ordinance if they do not have one already. It may require some work to discover what a city is going to do. Once they do decide, it may be to late to begin the work on securing a location. They may all be gone. The cost of a municipal license cannot be more than $5,000.00

2. Be prepared to show that you know what you are doing

An applicant will have to show the state that they know how to run the marijuana business they are applying for. Just a desire to do so will not be enough. It may be necessary to hire a consultant or employee with industry experience. Think about employing someone from an established cannabis marketplace in another state. A successful applicant will also have to provide a legitimate business plan and show they have the financial ability to implement it and sustain for at least two years. Chances are high they will have a plan for their document storage and data processing, be it an analog system involving paperwork and forms or document management software for their data systems, as well as the proper protection for that data. Prior successful business experience, even if not cannabis-related, is also important and will be considered.

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3. Start or continue a successful and compliant cannabis-related business now

One of the best things you can do to obtain a license is to demonstrate that you can successfully run a medical marijuana business currently with expected regulatory standards. If you are a caregiver, operate your grow in a commercial fashion. You should be operating in an industrial building and not your basement. Implement known regulatory compliant procedures including waste management, security, integrated pest management, chemical testing protocols, and proper record keeping. Nothing will ensure a successful application than 12 months of compliance documents accompanied by a written operations manual. These things will be required once licensed so you better get used to it now. If you want to obtain a dispensary (provisioning center) medical marijuana license, make sure your current business is not operating unlawfully. Establish written procedures and regulations, follow them and document everything. The state is not going to approve a license to a dispensary owner who has been committing felonies for the last few years, even if the city in which they operate did not care.

4. Start a great business relationship and reputation with your municipality

If your city officials love you they can put in a good word with the state medical marijuana licensing authority. If you can get them to do to that it will mean a great deal to your success. Make frequent contact with them. Offer, even demand, compliance inspections on a regular basis.

5. Make sure that any applicant has good moral character and successful business reputation

Donald Trump would have difficulty obtaining a medical marijuana license because he has been named as a defendant in numerous business related lawsuits. He (and/or his businesses) have also previously filed for bankruptcy. Lawsuits and bankruptcies are negatives for a medical marijuana license in Michigan. An applicant must demonstrate as much as possible that they will be successful. Successful business experience, moral character, financial ability and liquidity will all be very important considerations.

Barton Morris (65 Posts)

Barton Morris is the principal attorney of the Cannabis Legal Group, a Royal Oak law firm specializing in all marijuana related legal issues including criminal defense, business law, licensing, consulting, land use and real property. Barton is known as a cannabis law specialist in Michigan having developed this expertise since 2008 with the enactment of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. He is a council member of the Marijuana Law Section of the Michigan Bar Association and chair of its science committee.

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One of the ways Barton has developed his marijuana law specialty is through the training he received becoming the only attorney in Michigan certified by the American Chemical Society as a Forensic Lawyer-Scientist maintaining a focus on marijuana related science. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College and sits on its Alumni Board of Directors. Barton maintains board positions with the DUI Defense Lawyers Association and the Michigan Association of OWI attorneys. He also is on the faculty of both of those organizations regularly providing presentations and teaching lawyers from all over the country. Barton has been recognized professionally with several awards including being rated 10/10 by AVVO, and a Super Lawyer Magazine outstanding attorney in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Dbusiness Magazine also named Barton Morris a Top Attorney in Metro Detroit in 2012 and 2013 and named the Cannabis Legal Group the “Face of Cannabis Law” for 2016.

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