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Cannabis Licensing & Regulation Practice

Cannabis Licensing & Regulation Practice

In September 2016, the Michigan Legislature passed and the governor signed into law three new medical marijuana (MMJ) regulations, which created a licensing and regulatory framework for medical marihuana. The State’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) creates a regulated and protected marijuana business market in permissive cities for the cultivation, processing, transport, testing and retail sale industries. These laws include:

Public Act 281 – creates the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act to license and regulate the growth, processing, transport and provisioning of MMJ.


Public Act 282 – amends the voter-initiated Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to allow for the manufacture and use of marijuana-infused products by qualified patients.


Public Act 283 – creates the Marihuana Tracking Act and a seed-to-sale tracking system to track all MMJ.

Cannabis licensing is a complicated and relatively new field that can be difficult for entrepreneurs and business owners to navigate on their own, particularly when considering the evolving nature of the numerous complex and comprehensive regulatory requirements pertaining to marijuana licensing. At the Marsalese Law Group, the skilled and knowledgeable business law and regulatory expertise have helped entrepreneurs navigate and master the complex Cannabis regulatory framework.

At the Marsalese Law Group, we represent entrepreneurs and businesses that are looking to enter and thrive in the Cannabis business industry. We provide comprehensive and experienced legal counsel to Cannabis businesses in all aspects of their formation and ongoing operation. Our goal is to ensure our clients are 100% compliant with all rules and regulations in the industry. As a result of this emerging industry, there are a number of significant and complex hurdles, particularly at the Federal level, that entrepreneurs and businesses face. We understand what laws apply to your situation and ensure your business succeeds and stays 100% compliant with all rules and regulations.

In Michigan a person may apply for a state license under any of these categories: Class A, B, C Grower, Processor, Provisioning center, Secure transporter, Safety compliance facility. 

Grower License: A grower may not grow more than their license class. Class A can grow up     to 500 plants, Class B can grow 1,000 plants, and Class C can grow up to 1,500 plants.    Growers are authorized to sell seeds or plants to another licensed grower through a secure transporter only. To be eligible a grower must: (1) not have an interest in a secure transporter or safety compliance facility as well as their investors; (2) have 2 years experience as a primary caregiver. A grower may not be registered as a primary caregiver. Grower can only operate in areas zoned for industrial or agricultural uses, or is unzoned & otherwise meets local requirements.

Class C Growers can Stack” Licenses in a single location provided that additional licenses/licensees: (1) file additional applications & regulatory assessments met on each additional license; (2) are issued to the same applicant/licensee; (3) comply with all applicable local ordinances & zooming; (4) must identify & track through Metrc; (5) are not required to operate each license in a separate, distinct working area.

Processor License: Allows the purchase from a grower infused products or Cannabis to a   provisioning center & transferred only by a secure transporter. A Processor & must: (1) not have an interest in a secure transporter or safety compliance facility as well as their investors, and (2) have 2 years experience as a primary caregiver; or (3) employ someone who has. May not be a registered primary caregiver while simultaneously holding this license. All transactions must go through a statewide monitoring system.

Secure Transporter License: Allows a Licensee to store and transport Cannabis and associated money between Cannabis facilities for a fee upon request. Does not allow for the transport to a qualifying patient or caregiver. A Secure Transporter or their investors must not have an interest in a grower, processor, provisioning center, or safety   compliance facility, and may not be a patient or caregiver. All transactions & inventory must go through a statewide monitoring system (Metrc). A secure transporter must: have an issued chauffeur’s license; have a 2 person crew operating the vehicle with one staying with the vehicle at all times; a route planned and entered into Metrc and a copy in the vehicle to present to law enforcement upon request; Cannabis must be sealed and not accessible in transit; and the vehicle must not have marking indicating what is being transported. A secure transporter must not have been convicted or release for a felony within the last 5 years, or a misdemeanor conviction involving a controlled substance.

Provisioning Center License (Dispensary): Authorizes the purchase or transfer of Cannabis only from a grower or processor and the sale or transfer to a patient or caregiver. Transfer between facilities must be by means of secure transporter. For an applicant to be eligible for a provisioning center, they and their investors must not have an interest in a secure transporter or safety compliance center. Allows for testing to and from a safety compliance facility by secure transporter. Sale or transfer to a patient or caregiver must occur only after testing and labeling required for retail sale. All transactions must go through Metrc. Before selling or transferring a provisioning center must see if the patient or caregiver holds a valid license & that the sale will not exceed the daily purchasing limit. Alcohol and tobacco products must not be sold or consumed on premise. Physicians are not to conduct a medical exam or issue a certification on premise.

Safety Compliance Facility License: Authorized to receive Cannabis from, test Cannabis for,   and return Cannabis to only a Cannabis facility. Must be accredited by the Board within one year after the license is issued or provided drug testing services and be in good standing for those services. Applicant & investors must not have any interest in a grower,secure transporter, processor, or provisioning center. A Safety Compliance Facility License must: test to certify that Cannabis is free of chemical residues; test to determine THC, THC acid, CBD, and CBD acid; test to determine compliance with Board standards for microbial & mycotoxin contents. All transactions must be entered into Metrc. Must be a secured laboratory space. A Safety Compliance Facility Licensee must have one staff member with a relevant advanced medical or laboratory science degree.

In addition to helping our clients obtain the appropriate Cannabis licensing they may need, the Marsalese Law Group can also assist clients in resolving other issues related to this licensing as they may arise in the future. We work with manufacturers, caregivers, cultivators, dispensaries/collectives, and processors to assist with the permitting process. We are here to help you navigate the complexities involved in the State permitting process and keep you on track. It is important that you remember how regulated this industry is, to ensure you take the right actions.

At the Marsalese Law Group, we have experience representing licensees, landlords, entrepreneurs and investors in this developing area of the Michigan law. If you are dealing with any issues related to Cannabis licensing in Michigan, don’t hesitate to contact us for superior representation navigating the complexities of the law while you obtain the results you need.

For information on how the Marsalese Law Group can provide professional, effective, and efficient legal advice, contact us anytime at 586-915-2184 or

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