First Medical Marijuana Licenses Finally Awarded, With One Problem…


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  • A total of 7 licenses were granted
  • An additional 16 businesses were given preliminary status
  • No licenses have been awarded to lab testing facilities

Four lucky business owners became the first in the State to receive their Medical Marijuana licenses this passed Thursday.  The state awarded seven licenses, the first four Class C grow operation licenses going to VB Chesaning. Additionally, Cannarbor and Arbor Kitchen (a provisioning center and processor, respectively) were awarded licenses.  The 7th and final license awarded went to Capital Transport, a secure transport operation located in Lansing.

New state licensees have to pay an initial fee of $48,000, which pays for the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations operations. Many would say this is a small price to pay for being the first to officially enter a market that is expected to reach nearly $1 billion.

While great progress has been made in awarding these initial licenses, there is one problem.  There was not a single license awarded to a lab testing facility, meaning these newly licensed facilities cannot test their product.  It is illegal to sell medical marijuana that hasn’t gone through the proper testing procedures, which means these new licensees are essentially stuck.

In a recent interview with the Detroit Free Press, Andrew Brisbo said, “We continue to work with the few (testing labs) who are close in the process to try and get them licensed as well. We’re aware of the fact that not having a licensed lab presents a challenge for the other types of facilities so we’ll work with them closely on how to proceed.”  Brisbo is the director of Michigan’s Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.

Brisbo went on to say, “I think we’ll have a few up at the August meeting for consideration by the board.”  It seems that while the first 7 were put between a rock and a hard place, their problems will be solved come the August 9th meeting, and the MMJ Regulation Board is working closely with these licensees so they are still able to progress through the transition.

Additionally, LARA recently posted a bulletin aimed to help new licensees through the transition process.

Along with awarding the first seven licenses on Thursday, 16 businesses were granted preliminary approval.  For these businesses to be granted their state licenses, they have to get approved by the municipality they plan on operating in first.

Overall, the licensing board has received an impressive 594 applications for Medical Marijuana businesses, considered applications for 54 licenses and given 40 businesses prequalification status.  The next meeting is on August 9th, and is expected to have the largest agenda yet. Medical Marijuana in Michigan is still in its infancy, and progress will continue to be made.

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