Requirements For Getting a Medical Marihuana Growers License in Michigan

There are at least 15 separate factors that the State of Michigan will consider before granting an applicant’s license to become a grower of medical marihuana.  Some of these factors will automatically exclude a person from consideration while others are discretionary; meaning they may exclude but will not necessarily exclude a person from becoming a licensed grower.

The following factors make an applicant ineligible;

  1. Applicant has not been a resident of Michigan for the past two years.[i]  However, this 2-year requirement ends June 30, 2018.[ii]
  2. Applicant has been convicted of or released from custody for a felony within past 10 years,
  3. Within the past 5 years the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor involving a controlled substance, theft, dishonesty, or fraud in any state or been found responsible for violating a local ordinance in any state involving a controlled substance, dishonesty, theft, or fraud that substantially corresponds to a misdemeanor in that state.
  4. Applicant has previously filed a knowingly false application to become a grower.
  5. Applicant is a member of the medical marijuana licensing board.
  6. Applicant is unable to demonstrate ability to obtain adequate premises liability and casualty insurance.
  7. Applicant is an elected official.

There are a whole host of things that can be considered but that do not automatically exclude an applicant.  These include:

  1. Applicant’s integrity, moral character, reputation; personal and business honesty; financial ability and experience;
  2. Applicant’s financial ability to purchase insurance.
  3. Applicant’s sources of money to pay expense, including insurance as well capitalization (savings and/or ability to obtain money).
  4. If applicant has a prior bankruptcy within prior 7 years.
  5. If applicant has been convicted of a crime outside the 10-year window, even if that crime has been expunged, pardoned or reversed on appeal.
  6. If applicant has ever skipped bail.
  7. If applicant has prior history of tax problems
  8. If applicant has a prior history of business problems, or problems with business regulations.

A review of the amendments suggests both that the medical marijuana licensing application process will be arduous, and will likely include extensive background checks.  Also, it appears that the overall goal is to keep all growing operations business-like.  The state is seeking to keep the “legal” growing of marijuana from looking anything like the illegal growing of marijuana, and to keep people who have previously grown marijuana as part of an illegal business enterprise from, by obtaining a state license, thereby suddenly becoming a legal business enterprise.

Applications for a Michigan Medical Marihuana will contain a list of questions, touching on a variety of factors. Applications for a Michigan Medical Marihuana grower’s license can be filed 360 days after the effective date of the new amendments, which is December 20, 2016.[iii]

Registered caregivers and patients are excluded from these grower application/licensing requirement.  Marijuana growers who fail to obtain a license will be prosecuted criminally under state and federal drug laws.

Click here for more on the history of marijuana laws in Michigan or for information on business under the Michigan Marihuana Act.

[i] Sec. 402(2)(g).

[ii] Id.

[iii] Sec. 401(1).

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