It was a blitz in the Motor City last Thursday when regulators announced that they had ordered 158 medical marijuana businesses in the Detroit area to shutter their doors over the last two weeks. 210 businesses were closed statewide, as reported by the Associated Press.
Officials said these businesses failed to meet regulations either because they did not receive proper authorization from their local municipal governments or they did not apply for a state license by the deadline in February.
Shops that do not comply with their written cease-and-desist orders could have to answer to authorities both local and on the state level, or just be denied a license if they chose to apply a ta later date.
“If they feel like they received a letter in error, we obviously have an open form of communication with them,” said David Harns, spokesperson for Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The DLRA oversees the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation, which likes to spell “marijuana” in the old timey, Reefer Madness kind of way.
Harns outlined his process for making his list, saying that, “We had our team scour publicly available information to create a list and then we cross-referenced it with those who did turn in applications.”
The crackdown on dispensaries comes as Michigan begins to implement its new medical marijuana system that was passed into law in 2016. MMJ has been legal in Michigan, but some lawmakers felt the existing laws were vague, and drafted a new set of regulations.
New licenses to grow, process, sell, transport or test cannabis will be issued by June 15, and a new 3 percent tax will be levied on provisioning centers.
Harns said that just because you received a letter from his office does not mean you’re out of the MMJ market for good. “If it’s considered an incomplete application, it can possibly be fixed,” he said. “Our team is receiving phone calls from people who have questions about this. … If they feel like they received a letter in error, we obviously have an open form of communication with them.”
Photo via Flickr user Bill VanderMolen