Medical marijuana operator applications under review

MARQUETTE — Implementation of the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act is well underway. According to numbers collected on Feb. 22 by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, each of 331 applicants have paid the $6,000 to the state to apply for a license under the MMFLA.

Of those applications, 112 have applied for specific operators licenses within the state, LARA Public Information Officer David Harns said.

The applications can be broken down further, Harns said. Nine applicants have applied for a Grower A license, which allows for the growing of up to 500 plants; two have applied for a Grower B license to grow up to 1,000 plants; and 31 have applied for a grower C license, which allows the cultivation of between 1,001 and 1,500 plants.

The remaining applications include 20 processor permits, 45 provisioning center or dispensary permits, two secure transporter permits and three safety compliance permits, Harns said.

The Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Board will begin considering applications beginning in March or April, he said.

The state began taking applications on Dec. 15, with a Feb. 15 deadline for businesses currently operating under the 2008 voter-approved Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, with the approval of the municipality they do business in.

Michigan lawmakers passed the MMFLA in 2016, which set up the licensing and regulatory framework for the medical marijuana industry.

The legislation, consisting of Public Acts 281, 282 and 283, clarifies and adds to the state’s ability to collect tax revenue on the sale of medical marijuana, according to a Michigan Municipal League fact sheet.

No medical marijuana facility can operate without a local ordinance that “opts in” under the MMFLA

In Marquette County, the townships of Humboldt, Republic, Negaunee and Sands have all crafted ordinances to allow specific kinds of a medical marijuana business within their borders. Other Upper Peninsula municipalities that have opted in include Mastodon Township in Iron County, Mueller Township in Schoolcraft County and Porter Charter Township in Houghton County, according to a preliminary spreadsheet published March 1 on the LARA website.

Municipalities’ desires to opt in may be, at least partially, financially driven, according to the MML document.

A 3 percent state tax will be imposed on each provisioning center’s gross retail receipts, which will go to the state Medical Marijuana Excise Fund, the fact sheet states.

The money in the fund will be allocated, upon appropriation, to the state, counties, and municipalities in which a marihuana facility is located, the fact sheet states, with 25 percent to municipalities in which a marihuana facility is located, allocated in proportion to the number of marihuana facilities within the municipality.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is