LANSING – The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has issued new emergency administrative rules to continue the implementation of the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA). To help ensure the continued protection of medical marijuana patients, under the new rules, proposed medical marijuana facilities that would otherwise require a state operating license under the MMFLA may continue to operate with local approval until September 15, without impacting the applicant’s eligibility for licensure.
“Extending the deadline to September 15 will make sure that this law is implemented correctly and assure that potential licensees are thoroughly reviewed,” said LARA Director Shelly Edgerton. “It is important that we ensure that medical marijuana patients have continued access to their medicine.”
Applicants who turned in their state application by the February 15 deadline, and are making a good-faith effort to become licensed, had faced a deadline of June 15 to shut down or risk continued activity being considered an impediment to licensure by the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (MMLB). This 92-day extension will allow the bureau and the board enough time to investigate and authorize facility operator licenses in order to make sure that access to medical marihuana is maintained.
The new emergency rules also include clarifying language regarding safety testing standards that LARA has previously disseminated through technical advisories.
These rule, signed by Gov. Snyder, will remain in effect for six months.
It is important for applicants to remember that LARA’s emergency administrative rules require those operating under the temporary operation rule (number 19) to cease operation if they have not been issued a license by September 15, as any operation after that date is considered unlicensed activity.
Ultimately, licensure decisions will be made by the members of the MMLB, who may choose to consider unlicensed activity as part of the licensing criteria when deliberating on the overall application.
Until a license is received from the state, the operation of a proposed medical marijuana facility should be considered a business risk by the operator. Noncompliance will be grounds for disciplinary action and referral to law enforcement for unlicensed activity.