Unlicensed pot shops could soon reopen – The State Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is planning to recommend a proposal Wednesday to the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board that will help maintain patient access to medical marijuana (video)

Michigan has a medical marijuana shortage

Without enough licensed growers, the state is facing a marijuana shortage.

Video source Detroit | Local 4 | WDIV

Michigan medical marijuana shops can reopen unlicensed

By Amy Biolchin

A number of unlicensed medical marijuana provisioning centers will be allowed to reopen for the next three months as Michigan officials respond to pleas from patients and businesses facing a marijuana shortage.

The Medical Marihuana Licensing Board agreed Wednesday in a 4-0 vote to allow provisioning centers that are in the process of applying for a license and have local buy-in to reopen until March 31.

“I think this resolution takes this back to the intent of the law — and that is to get medicine to the people who need it,” said board member Vivian Pickard.

The move comes amid a medical marijuana shortage in Michigan caused by officials’ closure of 72 unlicensed provisioning centers Jan. 1, as well as a lack of established licensed growers. Regulators had allowed licensed provisioning centers to buy marijuana from caregivers in December, but that had expired Jan. 1. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is facing three lawsuits in the Michigan Court of Claims filed this January by provisioning centers as a result.

The first two weeks of January have seen patients scrambling to find their medicine, with provisioning centers reporting desperate calls from patients across the state.

Also Wednesday, the board agreed to allow licensed provisioning centers to continue to buy marijuana from a caregiver or a temporarily operating facility and sell it untested until March 31.

Board chairman Rick Johnson said he hopes that by March 31, the licensed medical marijuana industry is able to support itself without further intervention from regulators and the licensing board.

“We’re going to take care of patients and on the 31 of March I’m hopeful you all will be in the position to be in that process,” Johnson said.

Board member Don Bailey warned that extending temporary operations will continue to drive business to the black market.

“What we’ve done with these temporary operations for the past year and a half — we’ve expanded the black market. It’s an unintended consequence, but that’s exactly what’s happened,” Bailey said. “For the black market we’ve contributed to — if we think that’s going to contract after April 1, it’s not.”

The resolution passed Wednesday largely meets the concerns of the patient community and the industry, which has been lobbying state officials for the past two weeks.

“This recommendation will extend the temporary operation of facilities and allow licensed businesses to remain competitive during this transition period,” said Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Orlene Hawks in a statement.

Regulators previously allowed licensed provisioning centers to buy marijuana from caregivers and sell it to patients untested in December 2018, as long as patients signed a waiver.

That resulted in three recalls of medical marijuana products last week — as provisioning centers were required to test any caregiver product they were selling as of Jan. 1. Tests showed some caregiver products were contaminated with mold, E. coli and chemical residue.

Bureau of Marijuana Regulation Director Andrew Brisbo said patients need to understand the potential health risks to using caregiver product — and encouraged patients to consider seeking out their own independent testing.

“This is the system working properly,” said Rick Thompson, a board member of Michigan NORML and MILegalize. ” All the cannabis provided in 2018 was all from caregivers. If we didn’t hear of any illnesses in 2018, then it doesn’t rise to the level of emergency or concern in my mind.”

— Amy Biolchini is the marijuana beat reporter for MLive. 

Article source MLive

Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board Meeting – January 16, 2019

Video source Pollicella & Associates PLLC

Michigan’s medical marijuana licensing board allows temporary facilities to reopen

By Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

DETROIT – The state of Michigan medical marijuana licensing board has agreed to allow temporary operating facilities to reopen and allow them to get marijuana from caregivers, not just commercial grow operations.

On Tuesday, both Gov. Whitmer and the new director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs asked the state’s medical marijuana board to approve the measure due to a shortage of medical marijuana in Michigan.

“There is a shortage of supply in the market because there are only a handful of licensed growers in Michigan,” said Jeff Schroder, law firm Plunkett Cooney. “This would allow dispensaries and retail provisioning centers to purchase their quantities from caregivers again.”

The medical marijuana board has extended its grace period for license applicants to March 31, 2019. This is a stop-gap measure that would get provisioning centers open again while the state works on licensing. That only applies to medical marijuana. Michigan has yet to have written recreational marijuana rules.

The Reef, a well-known provisioning center in Detroit, would likely be able to open next week if the board approves the measure Wednesday.

“I think it’s a step forward,” said The Reef’s Rush Hassan. “It’s definitely a short term solution but it does open up patient access for these products.”

Article source ClickOnDetroit

Michigan medical marijuana licensing board allows dispensaries to temporarily reopen

Dozens of Michigan medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to reopen after the state forced them to close earlier this month.

The Medical Marijuana Licensing Board (MMLB) passed a recommendation Wednesday that will temporarily allow the facilities to do business while waiting to get their license.

This comes after several medical marijuana patients complained about the supply shortage during the shutdown.

“It was booming, thriving with products. We had patients coming here every 5 to 10 minutes, and now all of that is a standstill,” said Rush Hasan, general manager of Reef medical marijuana dispensary.

Under the new recommendation, the care network will be able to bridge the gap by supplying cannabis to a licensed processor, a licensed grower or a temporary or licensed dispensary. The dispensary can then sell that supply to patients, allowing the demand to be met for now.

Here’s the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ recommendation to the licensing board:

LARA recommended the licensing board adopt a resolution that making it clear that disciplinary action will not be taken against an applicant in the following circumstances:

Temporarily Operating Facilities (through March 31, 2019)

  • The applicant’s proposed facility is within a municipality that had an authorizing ordinance in place by December 15, 2017.
  • The applicant applied for a license no later than February 15, 2018.
  • The applicant notifies the Department within one business day of becoming aware of any adverse reaction to a marijuana product sold or transferred.

Licensed Provisioning Centers (through March 31, 2019)

The Board will not take disciplinary action against a licensed provisioning center for purchasing marijuana products from either a registered primary caregiver or from a temporarily operating facility, as long as the licensee does all the following:

  • Obtain signed patient consent prior to selling any marijuana products that have not been tested in full compliance with the law and administrative rules.
  • Enter all inventory into the statewide monitoring system immediately upon receipt from a caregiver or from a temporarily operating facility.
  • Verify and confirm – before any sale or transfer – with government issued photo identification and the statewide monitoring system that the customer holds a valid registry identification card.
  • Enter all sales in the statewide monitoring system and determine sales will not exceed daily purchasing limits.
  • Notify LARA within one business day of becoming aware of any adverse reaction to a marijuana product sold or transferred.

Licensed Growers or Processors (through March 31, 2019)

The Board will not take disciplinary action against a licensed grower or processor for purchasing marijuana products from either a registered primary caregiver or from a temporarily operating facility, as long as the licensee does all the following:

  • Enter all marijuana products as inventory into the statewide monitoring system immediately upon receipt.
  • Tag or package all inventory that has been identified in the statewide monitoring system.
  • Only transfer marijuana products that have been tested in full compliance with the law and administrative rules.
  • Notify LARA within one business day of becoming aware of any adverse reaction to a marijuana product sold or transferred.

The new extension will last through the end of March 2019.

Article source Fox47

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