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Michigan Marijuana: The Times They Are a Changin’

Bob Dylan’s iconic words are prophetic given the personal health and financial crises now in the United States from COVID-19. What does that mean for the Michigan marijuana business/industry now and in the foreseeable future—however long that might be?

Let’s highlight some recent developments in Michigan marijuana.

  • Governor Whitmer recognized the importance of this new legalized industry to the health needs of Michigan’s citizens and the beginning business industry for licensees and those seeking licensure. Provisioning Centers and Retail Enterprises are open; Growers, Processors, Labs, and Transporters are working – a very good thing for our citizens in many ways.
  • With the construction situation being what it is with limited opportunities to work on proposed facilities for however long the suspension lasts, it makes it clear to me that my earlier prediction about the Agency reducing the statutory two-year delay in open application to one-year is necessary. If there was a crying need for product two months ago, it isn’t getting any better. Demand is high; prices are high, and product shortages are large.  Those need to be reduced for a viable commercial market to significantly reduce the black market.  It now appears it can only be solved by opening up the MRTMA Adult-Use Licensing opportunity to everyone, not just restricted to MMFLA licensed applicants.photo of grand rapids michigan
  • The City of Grand Rapids has delayed acceptance of applications for Adult-Use licensing until October 20, 2020. Could it even be longer than that based on the current situation in the state?  It could be.  On the other hand, the City needs to realize a commercialized marijuana business can flourish (no pun intended) and be a springboard to reinvigorating construction and business within the City.  Hard to believe a legalized marijuana business might now be at the forefront of economic rejuvenation of Grand Rapids and other Michigan communities.
  • In case you missed it, the City of Kalamazoo is going to be examining a proposed MRTMA Adult-Use ordinance later this month. Draft copies are on-line.
  • For those of you who might need help with the Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”) and can apply, let us know. Apply if you have been in business.  Nothing like “free” money.  Trouble is, I understand that Michigan marijuana businesses are excluded, but check with your tax person.
  • Also, if you were an Independent Contractor or are now an unemployed worker, make certain you get your unemployment applications into the State of Michigan as the benefits are significant. Many people will make more than if they remain employed.
  • Focus on the Future and if you have any questions or concerns about the changes going on, give us a call and we’ll try to help or direct you to a reputable resource. If you’re still thinking about a marijuana business, we can guide you through the licensing process, too.