Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act & What It Means For Business

The Michigan medical marijuana scene is still in its infancy, and with that, the industry is still trying to figure itself out. There’s a litany of legal considerations that need to be put into place before anything can be deemed complete. That said, things are working as usual, but there’s always something new that comes along in regards to medical marijuana in Michigan, so it’s always best for owners and proprietors to keep an ear to the ground for any important changes or developments.

While there are a lot of things new and veteran cannabis business owners have to keep in mind during their endeavors, the main thing that they need to know, inside and out, is the law surrounding their line of business. More specifically, they need to know about the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.

No, you didn’t just catch a typo, that’s how they’ve chosen to spell “marijuana” for this important legal document. It’s not just some random choice, either, this spelling goes all the way back to the early days of marijuana prohibition.

With little confirmation on the actual spelling of this herb at the time, the federal powers that be, who were in charge back then, went with their instinct and officially used an “h” during the creation of their legislative duties, and Michigan is choosing to honor that official spelling in their various rules and regulations on the matter.

So, if you encounter any sort of forms or applications with that spelling, don't be alarmed, that's just the way they've chosen to spell it.

While many think it’s best to use their own interpretation of this vital piece of legislation, I find it more suitable to literally quote this important document, so nothing is lost in translation.

When a potential (or existing) business owner gets their hands on the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, created back in 2016, the first thing they’ll notice is a detailed summarization explaining the specific purpose of this act, and how it can affect business owners in the area.

They wrote that this is, “An act to license and regulate medical marihuana growers, processors, provisioning centers, secure transporters, and safety compliance facilities; to allow certain licenses to process, test, or sell industrial hemp; to provide for the powers and duties of certain state and local government officers and entities; to create a medical marihuana licensing board; to provide for interaction with the statewide monitoring system for commercial marihuana transactions; to create an advisory panel; to provide immunity from prosecution for marihuana related offenses for persons engaging in certain activities in compliance with this act; to prescribe civil fines and sanctions and provide remedies; to provide for forfeiture of contraband; to provide for taxes, fees, and assessments; and to require the promulgation of rules.”

Yeah, quite a mouthful, wouldn’t you say?

But that’s how these pieces of law are typically written. They need to cover all of their bases, clearly, in order to avoid any sort of loopholes or confusion down the line. It makes nothing but sense when you think about all the ways people try to reinterpret the law in their favor these days.

This is a very concise, direct wording of their intentions, and I don’t think people will be able to misinterpret the purpose of this act in any way, shape, or form.

This act then goes on to even further explain the intent of that initial excerpt. So, if at any point, if there is even the possibility of someone being confused by a term or phrase, they can rely on these informative pieces found in this document to remedy any situation of that nature.

For instance, if you are unclear how this act would affect a partnership, they make sure to clearly spell it out for you, under article (ii), found in their 333.27102 Definitions section.

Specifically, it reads, “For a partnership and limited liability partnership: all partners and their spouses. For a limited partnership and limited liability partnership: all general and limited partners, not including a limited partner holding a direct or indirect ownership interest of 10% or less and who does not exercise control over or participate in the management of the partnership, and their spouses.”

It continues to explain, “For a limited liability company: all members and managers, not including a member holding a direct or indirect ownership interest of 10% or less and who does not exercise control over or participate in the management of the company, and their spouses.”

As you can clearly see, they leave no stone unturned, no question unanswered. There is, quite literally, no room for confusion. This piece of legislation is air-tight and scam-proof, as most government acts should be.

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Personally, as I was reading this, I realized that I had no idea what a provisioning center was. Lucky for me, there was a detailed description, breaking down exactly what they mean by "provisioning center."

They explain that a “Provisioning Center” is in reference to, “…a licensee that is a commercial entity located in this state that purchases marihuana from a grower or processor and sells, supplies, or provides marihuana to registered qualifying patients, directly or through the patients’ registered primary caregivers. Provisioning center includes any commercial property where marihuana is sold at retail to registered qualifying patients or registered primary caregivers. A non-commercial location used by a registered primary caregiver to assist a qualifying patient connected to the caregiver through the department’s marihuana registration process in accordance with the Michigan medical marihuana act is not a provisioning center for purposes of this act.”

Yikes. It can get pretty redundant, right?

These legal documents are probably the most arduous things to read, to be honest. They are bogged down with so many similarly-sounding statements, it’s hard not to get lost in the minutiae of it all.

That’s why I always urge business owners, of any experience level, to employ the expert guidance of a cannabis professional before moving forward with any business plan. These brilliant people know the ins and outs of Michigan’s detailed approach towards the cannabis industry, and I’m confident that they’ll be able to help you not only get the license and legal advice that you need, but they’ll be able to do so in an efficient, diligent fashion.

So, don’t be too shy to ask for help. It may be the best way to get what you truly want.

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