'Gray market' Michigan marijuana dispensaries get cease and desist orders

Published: Mar. 16, 2018 at 11:58 AM EDT
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About 40 medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan were ordered to shut down this week, and the same directive will go to hundreds more in the weeks to come.

The dispensaries in question have been operating in what is commonly called a ‘gray market.’ The legal lines were blurred as to whether they could or couldn’t exist.

Michigan law is changing, and the change is being phased in. The new law will clearly spell out in black and white that dispensaries will be considered legitimate businesses.

“Personnel from the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Division Enforcement Section accompanied by Michigan State Police troopers have begun physically serving cease and desist letter to marijuana businesses that are not in compliance with Emergency Rule 19,” said David Harns in a written statement.

In other words, certain steps had to be followed for the old school gray market dispensaries to become legitimate licensed businesses under the new rules. Number one, they had to apply for a state operating license by February 15.

Dispensaries that did not seek a license are the ones that are getting the cease and desist letters.

Sources knowledgeable about the situation say that dispensaries in Bangor and Portage appear to be the closest to Berrien and Cass counties.

Attempts to check on the status of those businesses were not immediately successful.

Michigan officials close 40 medical marijuana businesses


Michigan officials have shuttered 40 medical marijuana businesses across the state.

that the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs started the process Thursday of closing down facilities that are operating illegally and haven't submitted applications for a license.

Hundreds more businesses are expected to receive cease and desist letters in the coming days. Department Spokesman David Harns says authorities didn't confiscate products when delivering the letters.

The letter says those who refuse to shut down risk being unable to receive a license in the future and could face penalties or sanctions.

Michigan voters passed a medical marijuana law in 2008, which allowed caregivers to grow a small amount of the plant for patients with medical marijuana cards. The Legislature passed bills in 2016 to regulate and tax medical marijuana.


Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com

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3/16/2018 11:54:12 AM (GMT -4:00)