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In order to get started in the Michigan CannaBusiness industry, hopeful entrepreneurs are responsible for obtaining the required licenses from both city and state boards–a process that involves high hurdles including stringent application requirements and a well-developed business plan. Individuals who feel they are able to satisfy the statutory and administrative rule requirements for one or more of the five marijuana business licenses may submit an application for a license to the Department on Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). In fact, on December 15, 2018, LARA began accepting online or paper application forms, utilizing a two-step application process that vets prospective CannaBusiness owners who seek to obtain a marijuana facility licensing.

The first step of the licensing process is Pre-Qualification

This step includes a full background check of the applicant and all supplemental applicants–the other individuals who will be involved in the CannaBusiness. CannaBusiness license applicants should be aware that fees may be involved in the licensing process. Until all application fees are paid, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will not be able to process the application. It is typically recommended that CannaBusiness owners develop a business plan that factors in all financial expenses that may arise while establishing and running a business in the marijuana industry.

The second step of the application process is License Qualification

If applicants have a location secured–the recommended starting point for prospective CannaBusiness owners–they will have the option of submitting Pre-Qualification and License Qualification application materials at the same time. License Qualification requires information specific to the physical location of the applicant’s business. An applicant cannot be issued a license until all requirements under the MMFLA and administrative rules are met. After notification of License Qualification approval from MMFL, an applicant will need to pay a regulatory assessment for each license the applicant is issued.

After an application is submitted for review, correspondence from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs should be expected. While an application is being processed, government officials will be in communication with applicants throughout their pre-licensure review period. Primarily, communications will be utilized in order to prepare the most accurate, detailed, and thorough summary for presentation to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Board.

In some circumstances, additional inquiry may be made into an application and more information may be requested in order to satisfy application requirements. For example, if an applicant has large transactions or financial activity that cannot easily be understood, applicants should expect to be asked to provide clarifying information regarding the nature of the transaction, the type of business activity, the purpose of the transaction, and the source of the funds. If information was submitted inaccurately, incomplete, or not disclosed at all, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will send a notice of deficiency to the applicant and request these items be corrected, additional documents be submitted, and/or specific items be clarified or explained further. Applicants should plan respond to these deficiency notices in a complete and timely manner, to keep the application moving forward and avoid being denied a CannaBusiness license.

After the application is processed, MMFL will notify applicants and supplemental applicants when and where fingerprints will be collected.   It is difficult to estimate the waiting period that applicants will endure before receiving a response to their licensure application. However, it is advised that applicants provide information in an accurate and timely manner to minimize delays from any additional notice of deficiency document requests or financial follow ups.

Prior to submitting applications to the department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs it is important to consult with an attorney. When considering whether to open a marijuana related business in Michigan it is important to consult with an attorney to ensure compliance with the MMMA and MRTMA. Great Lakes Bay Legal Consulting, Attorney Nathan J. Collison can assist individuals and business with licensing applications and CannaBusiness planing. Schedule a Consultation Today.

Attorney Nathan J. Collison is the 4th generation of his family to provide industry leading legal services in the Great Lakes Bay region, and Great Lakes Bay Legal Consulting continues that tradition. We build relationships based on your individual needs and goals. Our focus is on excellence, integrity, and you.