skip to Main Content
Michigan Governor Green-Lights Creation of Rules and Regulations for Medical Marijuana

The September 2016 Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) in Michigan provides for the appointment of a five-person licensing board to administer the licensing process and ensure compliance with the MMFLA.

While many in the industry had hoped these appointments would have been made sooner, that’s all history now. There is now a board and it’s time to get rules and regulations in place in Michigan and establish procedures for the licensing process and industry operations.

We have been attending municipal meetings around the state to advocate for the adoption of ordinances authorizing facilities (the so-called “Opt In” ordinances. See more here.

One major concern we have heard from planning commissions and township boards is a fear of adopting an ordinance that is later found to conflict with the rules and regulations the board may establish. This has caused many local governments to take a “wait and see” approach, and to not move forward to adopt an ordinance.

That, in turn, is clearly slowing down the planning and implementation processes for many potential license-holders.

Now that the board is in place, we should expect to soon see the rules and regulations called for under the MMFLA.

To recap, those rules and regulations will be designed to facilitate discharge of the board’s duties and the exercise of its powers under sections 302 and 303 of the MMFLA, which include:

  • Granting or denying each application.
  • Deciding all license applications in reasonable order.
  • Implementing and collecting the application fee and regulatory assessment.
  • Providing oversight of a marihuana facility for the purpose of certifying the revenue, receiving complaints from the public, or conducting investigations into the operation of the marihuana facility designed to protect and promote the overall safety, security, and integrity of the operation of a marihuana facility.
  • Ensure that marihuana-infused products meet health and safety standards.
  • Investigate all individuals employed by marihuana facilities.
  • Through its investigators and agents, enter the premises, offices, facilities, or other places of business of a licensee, and take any other reasonable or appropriate action to enforce the MMFLA and rules.

The initial board consists of five individuals appointed by the Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to hold up to four year terms in office (which will be staggered for this initial board between 2, 3 and 4 years). Two of the five are taken from lists of nominees submitted to the governor by legislative leaders, and the other three were directly chosen. The political parties represented are three Republicans and two Independents.

The chairman of the board, Rick Johnson of Leroy, is a former Michigan legislator. He was a member of the Lansing lobbying firm Dodak, Johnson & Associates.  Two other board members are associated with law enforcement – one is a retired Michigan state police officer and the other is an executive board member of the Police Officers’ Association of Michigan.

The final two members are a licensed pharmacist with employment experience with Walgreens and a public policy consultant who served as president of the General Motors Foundation.

Prior to these appointments, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) had already begun to prepare possible rules and regulations that the board could consider.

LARA solicited input from attorneys (we were privileged to be asked to participate) and industry experts on license stacking (under which one applicant could seek several licenses to “stack” them into a larger organization), the types of testing protocols labs should be required to establish, and whether to transition medicine from the MMMA to the MMFLA.

In addition, LARA created the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulations to execute the MMFLA, and selected Franwell, Inc., a technology company, to administer the seed-to-sale monitoring and tracking system.

If the examples from other states that have established medical marijuana regulatory departments are any indication, there will certainly be a few bumps on the road Michigan is now travelling.  Hopefully this board will investigate what has worked and what has not in those other states, and learn from experience.

We are looking forward to seeing the first work of this new board and working with them to help establish this new industry.

Bob Hendricks

Bob Hendricks

Robert Hendricks is a business attorney in Grand Rapids, Michigan, licensed since 1984. In 2013 he and his partners began developing a marijuana business practice called CannalexLaw. Hendricks is a member and officer of the State Bar of Michigan’s Marijuana Law Section, and a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and the National Cannabis Bar Association. He speaks on marijuana and business at various forums in Michigan. He blogs on marijuana business issues at

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Stories

Only a few cannabis workers in Illinois are unionized 2 years after full legalization. Organizers say corporate owners have put up fierce resistance.

Cannabis workers pushing to unionize amid complaints of low wages and rough working conditions claim they’ve faced stiff resistance from the corporate pot firms that employ them. In January of 2020, with the blessing of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, employees at Cresco Labs’ cultivation center in Joliet voted to become the first Illinois cannabis workers…

The 5 Most Common Blind Spots Among Rapidly Scaling Cannabis Companies

“The green rush” is more than a buzzy catchphrase for the cannabis industry. For those on the ground—cultivators, manufacturers, retailers and beyond—this boom of opportunity means rapid scaling and constant problem solving. But in the rush to expand operations, some blind spots in employment and workplace compliance can be hard to manage for a rapidly…

Florida voters could see legalizing recreational marijuana on the ballot again in 2022

An activist group is working to add a measure to legalize recreational marijuana use on Florida’s 2022 Florida general election ballot. Regulate Florida, the group working to add the proposal to the ballot, must obtain over 223,000 signatures to obtain Supreme Court review and another 890,000 valid signatures by January. Michael Minardi, a lawyer for…

Minnesota authorizes edibles under medical marijuana program

Marijuana edibles will be granted as an allowable medication under Minnesota’s medical marijuana program beginning in August, the state Department of Health announced on Wednesday. Health officials said gummies and chews would be granted as viable forms of medical cannabis, along with pills, vapor oil, liquids, topicals, powdered mixtures, and lozenges. The state will immediately…

More Categories

Back To Top
×Close search