Michigan Advises Medical Cannabis Caregivers And Patients On Transition To Licensees And Employees

michigan marijuana cannabis

The Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) released two advisory bulletins today to inform and advise potential licensees of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation’s (BMMR) intention regarding (1) the transition from medical marihuana caregivers and patients to facility license holders and employees and (2) local and state license fees. The bulletins are for advisory purposes only and are subject to change.

Caregivers and Patients: Transition to Facility Licensee or Employee

The Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) requires grower and processor facility licensees to have at least two years experience as a caregiver, or have an active employee with such experience. However, a licensed grower or processor – or their employee – must not be registered as a caregiver. LARA intends to require that, upon licensure, any caregivers affiliated or employed by a grower or processor must submit the form to cancel caregiver status within 5 business days. New employees have five business days to submit the caregiver cancellation form.

The MMFLA requires that – to be eligible for a secure transporter license – an applicant and its investors cannot be registered patients or caregivers. Therefore, applicants for a secure transporter license – and those affiliated with the applicant as investors, direct/indirect owners, partners, officers, directors, managers, or members – must withdraw from the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP) registry as caregivers or patients prior to applying for a secure transporter license.

The MMFLA does not prohibit provisioning center and safety compliance facility licensees from being registered as patients or caregivers under the MMMP, nor does it prohibit such facilities from employing patients or caregivers.

A patient or caregiver who wishes to withdraw from the MMMP registry must submit a completed Withdrawal Form directly to the MMMP according to the instructions on the form.

Fees under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act

The MMFLA requires BMMR to collect two separate fees: the medical marihuana facility license application fee and a regulatory assessment fee. The MMFLA also allows a local municipality to collect a fee for a potential licensee to operate within its boundaries.

The Municipality Fee is a local-level fee – up to $5,000 – which is not determined nor collected by BMMR; it is in addition to the state-level fees collected by BMMR.

The Medical Marihuana License Application Fee is a one-time, non-refundable, state-level fee that offsets the initial costs incurred by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), the Michigan State Police, and the costs of background investigations. The application fee must be submitted before the application can be processed. BMMR intends to set the standard application fee at $6,000 when the emergency rules are released.

The Annual Regulatory Assessment Fee is a nonrefundable, state-level fee which offsets LARA’s annual operational costs to implement, administer, and enforce the MMFLA as well as the expenses of medical-marihuana-related services provided by the Attorney General, the State Police, and Treasury. The regulatory assessment also covers support costs of the statewide monitoring system and provides $500,000 annually toward licensing substance abuse disorder programs, as required by statute.

The regulatory assessment allocates funds to the Department of Health and Human Services for substance abuse-related expenses and covers expenses related to the standardized field sobriety tests administered in enforcing the Michigan vehicle code. The regulatory assessment is the final step prior to the issuance of the license and is not paid until after board approval for licensure. The regulatory assessment is collected annually and may change each year; the new assessment amount will be announced by LARA prior to the start of the new fiscal year. The regulatory assessment does not apply to safety compliance facility licenses.

These bulletins do not constitute legal advice and are subject to change. They are intended to be advisory only, in anticipation of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ promulgation of emergency rules consistent with statutory requirements. Potential licensees are encouraged to seek legal counsel to ensure their licensure applications and operations comply with the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act and associated administrative rules.

For more information on BMMR, please visit: www.michigan.gov/bmmr

For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara
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Source: The Social Revolution

Rick Thompson
About Rick Thompson 64 Articles

Current member of the Boards of Directors of: Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee (MILegalize), Michigan NORML; founding member, Michigan ASA, Public Relations Director, Michigan Association of Compassion Centers (defunct)