how to start a medical marijuana business in michigan

Starting a medical marijuana business was made possible on Sept. 21, 2016, which marks a historic day for the Michigan cannabis industry. This article covers how to start a medical marijuana business in Michigan.

Then-Governor Rick Snyder signed the Medical Marijuana Facility Licensing Act (MMFLA) into law.

The MMFLA has created a highly regulated industry for the commercial cultivation and sale of medical cannabis, and greatly contributes to the $3+ billion dollar industry the cannabis industry is today.

Hundreds of people now own legal dispensaries, grows and processing facilities across the state.

Currently, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) accepts medical marijuana license applications for the following five different license types:

  1. Grower (classes A, B, C)
  2. Processor (marijuana infused products)
  3. Secure transporter
  4. Provisioning center (dispensary)
  5. Safety compliance facility

Do you need help starting a medical marijuana business in Michigan or applying for a license? Do you need corporate legal services for any reason, including lobbying or ballot initiatives in municipalities that don’t currently allow marijuana businesses? Request a consultation now.

Below, we’ve outlined five steps to start a medical marijuana business in Michigan.

1. Get Approved From The City You Want to Operate In

Before Michigan will even consider granting you a state license, you must have a license from the city you want to operate in.

This makes identifying and securing a location for your marijuana business incredibly important.

Every city decides how many medical marijuana facilities they will allow, if any, and where they’ll be located.

Only a handful of cities have “opted-in” to medical marijuana.

This is why the cannabis industry is highly competitive, and why you need expert legal help securing a location.

The cost of a municipal license is separate from the cost of a state license.

2. Demonstrate Your Knowledge to the State of Michigan

An applicant must show the MRA that they’re prepared to start a medical marijuana business.

A desire to do so isn’t enough.

This is why it’s necessary to hire a consultant or employee with cannabis industry experience.

A successful applicant must also provide a legitimate business plan, and show that they have the capital to operate the business for at least two (2) years.

Even if it’s not cannabis-related, prior successful business experience will be highly considered.

3. Be Compliant with State and Local Regulations

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’re a caregiver, demonstrate how you have compliantly ran your caregiver operation (i.e. operating in an industrial building).

Implement known regulatory compliant procedures including waste management, security, integrated pest management, chemical testing protocols, and proper record-keeping.

At least one (1) year of compliance documents and a operations manual is required after licensure.

To obtain a medical marijuana license, you must ensure that your current business isn’t operating unlawfully.

Therefore, you should establish written procedures and regulations, follow them, and document everything.

The state isn’t going to approve a license to someone who has committed felonies while operating their business.

If you have felonies that may be preventing you from securing a marijuana license, we can help you with expungement.

4. Start a Great Business Relationship and Reputation with Your City

When your city officials admire you, they can put in a good word with the MRA.

This will mean a great deal to your success.

That’s why it’s important to frequently contact your city officials and community members, even after you secure a license.

Offer, even demand, compliance inspections on a regular basis.

5. Remember: Successful Applicants Have Solid Business Reputations

Lawsuits and bankruptcies are huge red flags for the MRA when considering a medical marijuana license application.

Furthermore, an applicant must demonstrate that they hold successful business experience, moral character, and financial ability to obtain a license.

Do you need help starting a medical marijuana business in Michigan or applying for a license? Do you need corporate legal services for any reason, including lobbying or ballot initiatives in municipalities that don’t currently allow marijuana businesses? Request a consultation now.