Michigan to open access to the recreational marijuana market in March to help curb black market sales

Early next year, Michigan will eliminate a barrier to entry in the state’s recreational marijuana industry that has stifled growth and unintentionally complicated the fight against unlicensed, black market marijuana.

As of March 1, certain newly licensed recreational marijuana businesses — retailers, processors, transporters, safety labs, class B and C growers — will no longer be required to first hold a medical marijuana business license, the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced Tuesday, Oct. 6.

This means lower application and license fees for businesses not wishing to grow, sell, test, process or transport medical marijuana. And it opens up market access to new businesses; for instance, those in communities that have not opted in to the medical marijuana market but that would like to participate in the recreational market.

Robin Schneider, director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, a trade organization comprised of over 200 marijuana businesses, said the original intent of the medical license prerequisite was to give pioneering companies that assumed risk and invested early a chance to establish themselves and recoup costs before the recreational market was flooded with competition. The first medical marijuana business licenses were issued in 2018 and recreational businesses began opening last December. [Read more at MLive.com]

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