You may be thinking of opening a marihuana provisioning center in Michigan. Now, after the passage of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act or the MMFLA (M.C.L. 333.27401 et seq.) that is possible, however only if you obtain municipal approval and a State issued operations license. “Provisioning Center” is the legally permissible term under Michigan’s Bureau of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation, for what was previously referred to informally as a “dispensary.” The existing policies no longer permit such companies to be referred to legally as “dispensaries” and the State requires that they be referred to as marihuana provisioning centers. A provisioning center is basically a organisation where qualifying patients under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act or the MMMA (M.C.L. 333.26421 et seq.) may come to acquire medical marihuana for medical usage. While a provisioning center can be a lucrative venture, there are a couple of things you to understand before you move forward.

Can You Transport Cannabis In A Private Car?

Currently, under Michigan law, the general guideline is that possession and transport of marihuana in a automobile is forbidden by law, and subjects you to criminal charges. Only registered qualifying patients and registered caregivers under the MMMA may transport marihuana in a automobile. Even then, they have to do so in strict compliance with the MMMA. Marijuana may only transported in a locked, closed container in the trunk of a vehicle, where it can not be accessed by the driver or individuals in the traveler compartment. You may also not have more than 2.5 ounces of usable marihuana, per registered qualifying patient. Caregivers may transport usable marihuana for as much as 5 patients (and themselves also if the caregiver is also a qualifying patient) or up to 12 plants per patient (again, including plants for the caregiver, if they are also a qualifying patient). Under the MMFLA, however, provisioning centers that are licensed by the State and their local municipality, must only accept marihuana into their facility that is brought by a MMFLA State Licensed Secured Transporter, or, if they have a grow or processing center co-located ( connected to or on the same property) and transportation of the marihuana will not happen on a public road, it can be moved as set forth by LARA, BMMR under the Administrative rules.

How Much Marijuana Can You Offer?

A licensed provisioning center under the MMFLA may not sell more than 2.5 ounces of marihuana each day to a registered qualifying patient. A provisioning center that is licensed may likewise sell to a registered primary caregiver, but not more than 2.5 ounces per qualifying patient attached to the caregiver’s license. If you are licensed by the State to run a provisioning center, you will need to use a point of sale system that has software that is complaint with the Statewide Monitoring Database, which utilizes a software program called METRC. The State permits using twenty-four (24) software programs that are METRC compliant. Every customer who enters a provisioning center, you will have to use a point of sale system that has software that is compliant. Every client who goes into a provisioning center has to have their card run through the Statewide Monitoring Database to guarantee that they have not already been given their maximum daily quantity of 2.5 ounces from another licensed provisioning center. A provisioning center should also update the qualifying patient’s profile on the Statewide Monitoring Database after sale, so that the Database will show how much medical marihuana was purchased by the patient at your provisioning center.

What License Do You Need?

You need a full license supplied by the state to run as a Michigan provisioning center. If you are growing marijuana, you will likewise need to make certain that you get a Michigan commercial grow license application. You may want to talk to an MMFLA attorney, such as Fowler & Williams, PLC, about this to make sure that you are fully licensed, or you will be shut down. Most importantly, DO NOT begin operating your provisioning center without a State license being issued to you under the MMFLA. While the process of getting a license is complicated and needs a considerable amount of time and money, the profitability of these provisioning centers far exceeds the cost of getting one. If you can get approved for a license and get through the application process to acquire a provisioning center license, you ought to do so before you start running.

Can You Get More Than One License?

Yes, you can apply and qualify for more than one license. This is useful for any business or person who wants to establish a provisioning center and a grow or processor at the very same time. According to the law, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from doing this. Further, you can acquire several provisioning center licenses so that you can operate several provisioning centers in different cities. The licenses do not connect to the person or the business that is using, allowing you to use it anywhere you desire. Rather, the licenses attach to the property you provide on your application for the business. For that reason, if you wish to open multiple provisioning centers, you will need to send numerous State applications. If you want to acquire various types of licenses (say a grow or processor license) in addition to a provisioning center, you can co-locate them at one facility, but you need to submit different applications for each license type, and must fulfill the minimum monetary and background requirements independently for each license type.

Just How Much Will A License Cost?

The cost for the license application to the State is $6,000.00 per application, regardless of license type applied for, including for a provisioning center. There are also municipal application fees, which can be as much as $5,000.00 per application. Each municipality is different, and they can charge various fees, and they can vary the costs depending on which type of license you apply for. Generally, however, they charge the maximum enabled, which is $5,000.00 per license application. Even more, after you receive a State license, there are regulatory assessments that will need to be paid every year, both after issuance and each year after when the license is renewed.

In 2018, the assessments vary.

Secured Transporters and Safety Compliance Facilities (testing labs) have no assessment ($ 0.00).

Class A Growers have a $10,000.00 regulatory assessment.

Class B and Class C Growers, Provisioning Centers and Processors have a $48,000.00 regulatory assessment.

The State has actually said that starting in 2019 there will be a standardized regulatory assessment that will apply to all license holders, regardless of the kind of license provided. For now, nevertheless, the assessments will remain as noted above. You will also find that there are other professional fees that you will have to pay in order to guarantee that your application is complete, and that your business plan, with all of its needed parts, is up to par with the State’s application requests. Those expenses can differ considerably, and are tough to anticipate.

Needless to say, the application and licensing process is an pricey venture, however in a market that is slated to do about $891,000,000.00 in annual sales this year, up from about $741,000,000.00 in 2017, the roi could be significant.

Should You Have A Legal representative?

While not mandatory, you should certainly ensure that you are acquiring guidance from an MMFLA attorney before you consider opening a Michigan provisioning center. It  is necessary that you get the very best possible legal advice and that you are following all the regulations and requirements. Only an lawyer experienced in managing cases under the MMMA and licensing work under the MMFLA, like Fowler & Williams, PLC, can ensure that you have all the tools and guidance that you need to give your application the best chance at success. Failure to make sure that your application is complete, and that it supplies support for your capability to presently comply and ensure future compliance with the Administrative rules, your application is far more likely to be rejected or denied, and your dream of opening a provisioning center brought to an unceremonious ending.

Just How Much Will This Business Cost?

You can anticipate the total start-up fees for this kind of service to be anywhere between 400 and 500K, at a minimum. While the State requires a minimum capitalization requirement of $300,000.00 (one quarter of which must be liquid funds), that will not suffice, realistically, to start business. You will need to potentially acquire land or property in an opted-in municipality. (Here is an up to date list of Michigan Municipalities currently opted-in to MMFLA) There will be mandatory fees, costs, and professional services that you need to get to guarantee that your application is precise and complete, and to ensure that you are presently in compliance with all laws and guidelines, as well as making sure future compliance. This consists of everything from licensing to a full group of employees and much more. It’s definitely not cheap, and you need to be prepared for a heavy investment. However, as noted above, the marketplace is big, and continuing to grow.

Can You Go Mobile?

No, you can not run a mobile provisioning center as it is currently illegal to operate one in the state of Michigan. Nevertheless, this might change, which’s why it  is essential to talk to a medical marihuana lawyer routinely, so that you are keeping up to date with changes to the law. Cannabis law is an evolving and changing field, and as a outcome, there might come a time where the MMFLA or the MMMA is amended to enable a mobile provisioning center.

What Are You Legally Able To Do?

As a provisioning center, your sole function is to supply safe medical marihuana to registered qualifying patients. You may only offer marihuana or marihuana infused items that were grown by a MMFLA licensed grower or processed by a MMFLA licensed processor and the items have been tested by a MMFLA licensed safety compliance facility with proper labeling and tracking. You may not sell these products prior to your obtaining a license, unless you were operating with city approval prior to February 15, 2018 and you have actually already sent an application to the State looking for a license.

Soon a modification in law will likely enable recreational marijuana sales. If the ballot initiative passes, for the first two years after the State passes recreational marijuana facility regulations and begins accepting licensing applications, only facilities licensed by the MMFLA to sell, grow, process, transport or test medical marihuana will be legally allowed to obtain recreational marihuana licenses for the same activity. Thus, acquiring a provisioning center license under the MMFLA, offers you the chance to go into the recreational market, where others will not.

What Are The Requirements?

In order to obtain a provisioning center license, you need to guarantee that you do not have a disqualifying criminal conviction, and that you meet the minimum capitalization requirements, which as noted earlier are $300,000.00 with 25% liquid capital. You will likewise have to obtain an appropriately zoned structure in a city or municipality that has “opted-in” to the MMFLA to allow such centers to run within their borders. Whether your own it or lease it does not matter, however you need to have the building. After that, you will need to produce a business plan which contains all of the necessary components from the state, consisting of a security plan, facility plan, marketing plan, staffing plan, technology plan, recordkeeping plan, waste disposal plan, and more, showing that you will adhere to the State’s policies now and in the future.

Conclusion

We hope this offers you with some of the details you need prior to opening a Michigan provisioning center. Needless to say, the process is expensive, intricate and time consuming, however the benefit and ROI can be substantial. In reality, obtaining a skilled MMFLA and MMMA attorney, like Fowler & Williams, PLC, can help streamline and simplify the application procedure, and take most of the work off your plate.

If you want information, or wish to come in and speak about making an application for a provisioning center license, we would love to have you come in for a consultation.

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