Ever since the first Michigan case of COVID-19 was announced last week, many industries were temporarily shut down through Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order(s) or by voluntarily doing so out of concern for public health. Cannabis businesses have been no exception.
Below are a few of the actions that have been taken by the cannabis industry:
Extending Prequalification Status for Applicants
There will be inevitable building delays that applicants may experience due to the necessary responses taken to prevent and prepare for the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). In response to the Executive Order 2020-04 – Declaration of State of Emergency issued by Gov. Whitmer, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) is temporarily extending the period of prequalification status for applicants under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) or the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA).
Effective now, the prequalification status expiration date for MMFLA and MRTMA applicants are extended for a period of 90 days for the following:
- All applications currently in prequalification status
- All applications currently in an approved extension of prequalification status
- All applications granted prequalification status during the next 90 days.
Delivery Services for Adult-Use Consumers
In response to the State of Emergency issued by Governor Whitmer, the MRA is taking proactive steps to prevent and prepare for the spread of this disease.
In accordance with MMFLA Administrative Rule – R 333.282 and MRTMA Emergency Rule 57, licensed provisioning centers and adult-use retailers may provide home delivery services. The MRA must approve the delivery procedure used by the designated licensed facility or adult-use establishment. The bulletin that outlines this process can be found here.
According to the outlined steps linked above, the MRA will…
- encourage the use of home delivery when applicable.
- make every effort to review, process and approve requests from licensees within 24-48 hours.
- temporarily allow the use of home delivery for patients and customers whose residential address may not be the address identified on their state issued identification card.
Additionally, the MRA will temporarily allow curbside pickup. Customers may remain in their parked vehicle, in the parking lot of a licensed provisioning center or adult-use retailer. Customers may complete an order including payment for their product via the internet or they may place their order once parked at the facility.
A licensed facility or adult-use establishment employee is permitted to complete the sales transaction by interacting with the customer in the parking lot and recording the necessary information into the statewide monitoring system (METRC). The employee must validate all customer information, as required by the MMFLA Administrative Rules or the MRTMA Emergency Rules.
Temporary Suspension of On-Site License Pick-Ups
In accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, on-site pickup of licenses issued under MMFLA or MRTMA are temporarily suspended. All licenses will be sent by certified mail.
The advisory bulletin is available here.
Preparing for System Outages
The MRA has created two bulletins to provide guidance in the event the statewide monitoring system (METRC) experiences any system outage issues. One bulletin addresses expectations if licensees are unable to verify the patient status through the “Patient Status Lookup” and can be found here.
The other bulletin addresses expectations if there is a system-wide outage that prevents any record keeping within METRC, which can be found here. These bulletins are informational only at this time, and will be used as reference documents in the event one of these types of outages occur.
The MRA will issue notifications when licenses should adhere to the instructions found in these bulletins. At this time, METRC is functioning within its normal capacity.
The MRA Medical Facilities Licensing Section may be contacted via email or by phone at 517-284-8599.
If you are in pursuit of a marijuana facility license, contact our team of experienced cannabis attorneys today. Despite our adjustment to COVID-19, we are committed to serving both new and existing clients in granting them their licenses.