Finally, marijuana is blazing in Michigan and that’s good for all of us.
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has finalized revisions to the license application forms and published those effective Tuesday, June 11, 2019. All applications submitted from that time forward must now use the new MRA designated forms for either or both parts of the license application. Our amazing paralegals Eve and Pete are busy analyzing the changes from the Bureau forms to the MRA forms. And there are many. Thus far, the ones we’ve seen are positive for applicants. In many situations, the problems we have raised with LARA/Bureau have now been corrected. Applicants who submitted under the Bureau forms will not have to have new applications prepared on the new forms. We believe, however, that if you have not yet submitted your FLA application you will need to use the new MRA forms for the FLA. We are seeking clarification. Any significant issues or changes will be noted in future blogs as we move ahead with the new applications and analysis of the new application forms.
What’s Going on in GR?
The City of Grand Rapids Planning Commission has its second day of hearings for Special Land Use applications for the marijuana establishments. They dealt with two applications on May 24th. Those were the first two in the Draw Order. 3425 Plainfield, NE was denied 9-0 and 3510 E. Mall Drive, SE was approved 9-0. Both applications were for Provisioning Center licensing. The hearing on the first one, the denial, went almost two hours. You need to be prepared with an excellent and precise presentation and ready to respond to all issues which may have been raised by the Planning Department in its report to the Planning Commission as well as to any you know of which might be noted by members of the Commission. They are well prepared and have studied the materials. We are attending the Planning Commission meetings to continue observing for the benefit of our clients as they climb the ladder for presentations.
The watchword is the same as for all good Scouts: “BE PREPARED”.
Do not believe that the presentation order to the Planning Commission is ONLY based on the Draw Order, that’s one factor. The other is the Influence Area. Until a higher Draw Order application is decided, lower Draw Order applicants from an Influence Area are stymied. They sit and wait for that decision on the application which is higher in the Draw Order. Not sure what happens if a denied applicant takes an appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals or if an application/presentation is tabled. We have our opinions but will wait to see what actually occurs.
Have a Little Hemp
Hemp…CBD…FDA…CSA…Questions abound. Is it legal? Can it be used? Can it be grown? Where? What’s the State of Michigan doing with respect to licensure and enforcement? Can that neighborhood gas station or convenience store or tanning salon legally sell it? Do you need a license to sell it? Is the sale of it a product which is covered by insurance? Health insurance? Product liability insurance? Commercial liability policy? All sorts of fun issues for the lawyers. Not so much fun for those who might want to engage in the cultivation, processing, and sale of CBD or industrial hemp in the State of Michigan. Before you jump into it, know the risks and your legal rights. Yes, industrial hemp was removed from the CSA Schedule 1 under the 2018 Farm Bill, but lots of intricate legal issues still remain.
Marijuana Microbusinesses Coming Our Way
During a recent radio program Andrew Brisbo, Executive Director of MRA, announced that the Emergency Rules for the Michigan Regulatory and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA) may be published at the end of this month. Key issues for many of our clients are those relating to this proposed Microbusiness license and transfer of a MMFLA license to a MRTMA license. Then there’s a myriad of questions regarding the costs for the MRTMA licenses. For those looking to move on or to keep both, lots of questions as we plan for the next flurry of marijuana activity in our wonderful state.