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New Rules for Adult-Use and Medical Cannabis Business Applications

This week, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has adopted 10 topic-based administrative rule sets. These rule sets follow both the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) and the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). They also were introduced to accomplish the following:

  • implement, administer, and enforce appropriate standards for cannabis businesses and associated equipment, 
  • establish regulations ensuring the safety, security, and integrity of the operation of marijuana businesses, and 
  • provide clarity and consistency to those working in both the medical and adult-use markets.

Blog graphic for "MRA Announces Updates to Adult-Use and Medical Cannabis Business Applications"

As described in the MRA’s email bulletin, below are a few of the most important updates:

Updated Applications and Website Resources

Applications, step-by-step instructions, and other educational resources that were previously available on the MRA website for adult-use establishments and medical marijuana facilities are now updated to comply with the new topic-based rule sets.

Additionally, advisory and technical bulletins are being updated, as applicable, and reorganized on the website to remain  consistent with the topic-based rule sets.

Effective now, applicants must refer to and utilize the updated applications and resources that are being posted on the MRA website. Previous versions of the medical and adult-use applications will not be accepted. 

*While the MRA will accept paper applications, it is highly recommended that applicants use the online application, which has been specifically designed to ensure the efficient receipt of all necessary applicant information.

Highlights of the Topic-Based Rule Changes


  • Created one single set of rules for all applicants, including all application requirements
  • Extended prequalification period from 1-year to 2-years. 


  • Added that a safety compliance facility may be co-located with a non-MRA lab under certain circumstances.
  • Increased the timeframe for secure transporters to maintain product from 48 hours to 96 hours.
  • Changed waste rules to allow recycling and composting of marijuana plant waste that has not been treated with hazardous chemicals.
  • Changed delivery so that it can be dynamic; drivers can have inventory in their vehicle and be dispatched from delivery to delivery.

Sampling and Testing

  • Added a rule creating allowances to be issued by the agency if a licensee becomes Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) or Good Agricultural and Collection Practices-Good Manufacturing Practices (GACP-GMP) certified.
  • A grower may transfer or sell marijuana to a processor without it being tested to produce live resin or concentrate with approval.
  • Allows remediation of chemical residue pursuant to the remediation protocol. 
  • Allows remediation of microbials pursuant to the remediation protocol. 
  • Allows more retesting of products. 

Marijuana Infused Products and Edible Marijuana Products

  • All non-marijuana derived inactive ingredients, other than botanical terpenes, must be:
    • Listed on the label 
    • Below the FDA approved levels, and 
    • Approved for the intended use of the product. 

Adult-Use Establishment Applicants

Prospective adult-use licensees can visit here to see all of the information available to them to assist in the preparation of their application, including:

  • Application checklists and an overview of the licensing process 
  • Step 1 and step 2 applications for new applicants and existing medical marijuana facility licensees applying for an adult-use license
  • Detailed step-by-step instructions for the online applications 
  • Instructions for new applicants and existing marijuana facility licensees applying for each adult-use license type
  • Detailed paper instruction booklets including step-by-step instructions for each paper application
  • Frequently asked questions 

Medical Marijuana Facility Applicants

Prospective medical marijuana facility licensees can visit here to see all the information available to them to assist in the preparation of their application, including:

  • Application checklists 
  • Step one and step two applications for new applicants 
  • Detailed paper instruction booklets including step-by-step instructions for each paper application
  • Frequently asked questions 

*When submitting a medical marijuana paper application using the online portal, the medical marijuana facility paper application must be completed in its entirety, uploaded, and submitted with the newly created applicant record.

Timing, Potential Service Interruption While Making System Changes

During these updates, please keep the following in mind:

  • Applicants and licensees may temporarily lose access to records they have submitted and/or have pending with the MRA during intermittent system updates
  • New online applications will not be accessible and will be unable to be submitted during intermittent system updates
  • MRA website content will be updated and changed throughout the dates indicated

The Takeaway

The MRA issued these sweeping changes to create a more efficient and applicant-friendly process. However, these changes are incredibly detailed and complex to navigate by yourself. We will publish further guidance regarding these rule sets as they are clarified.

If you are interested in applying for a Michigan cannabis business license, contact our team of experienced cannabis attorneys today to schedule a consultation.

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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