New business opportunities in Michigan’s adult-use (recreational) industry may be right around the corner. During an interview with Crain’s Detroit Business, Andrew Brisbo, the executive director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), disclosed a plan to allow stand-alone recreational licenses.
If implemented, the plan would be a year ahead of schedule. Launched on Nov. 1st, 2019, the adult-use currently requires interested applicants to first obtain a medical license before being allowed to apply for a recreational license (until November 2021).
What Are The Benefits of Stand-Alone Adult-Use Licenses?
There are a couple key benefits to stand-alone adult-use licenses, including:
1. Wider Participation Across Michigan
For some, gaining both a medical marijuana license and an adult-use license is a huge barrier, due to the costs and fees required for each. Along with Michigan’s marijuana social equity provisions, stand-alone adult-use cannabis licenses could open the market even more and remove these excessive barriers for entry into each industry.
“I would expect to see municipalities that want to address equity at the local level could move forward with a lot of additional participation,” Brisbo told Crain’s. “There’s not quite as high a barrier to entry on the adult-use side, and that could open the market up.”
These changes aim to address the issues with the state’s social equity program and embrace municipal equity programs. As of now, only 60 of Michigan’s municipalities are opted-in to the adult-use program.
2. Reducing Time Spent on Applications
The application process for both medical and adult-use facilities is deadline driven and requires thorough preparation of disclosures, supporting documentation, attestations, and licensing fee requirements. There is also a lengthy review process.
Going through the process for a medical marijuana establishment license first, and then applying again for adult-use, is extremely tedious and costly.
The Future of Stand-Alone Recreational Cannabis Business Licenses
Although a final decision has not yet been made, discussions with stakeholders to make the industry more accessible is always a positive. While the cannabis industry is rapidly changing, Michigan adult-use sales are already rivaling medical marijuana sales – both categories have exceeded $200 million in sales since December.
Now is a better time than ever to start in this complex yet exciting, profitable industry. Before you begin advertising your cannabis business, it is vital to hire experienced cannabis attorney(s) to avoid any fines or write-ups from the MRA.