Michigan: MMFLA News And Update

michigan marijuana cannabis

Information is developing weekly in the quest to build Michigan’s new medical marijuana business program.

In a press release issued yesterday the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), which oversees the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR), announced that their offices and Franwell Inc will be conducting a series of training sessions on the seed-to-sale tracking program Michigan has purchased from them. Earlier this year Franwell, of Florida, was selected to oversee the monitoring of all plants and salable cannabis for Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA).

Also being demonstrated to potential businesspersons and employees: the Accela system of uploading business applications into the State of Michigan’s computer database.

LARA is currently developing rules and business applications for the MMFLA program. They recently completed a set of five Work Group sessions, in which from 17-20 hand-selected participants spent several hours discussing specific issues regarding the Cultivation, Processing, Testing, Transport and Distribution industries. The Work Groups each met only a single time and participants report that there were no plans made for a second brainstorming session.

In the latest press release LARA and the BMMR outline five sessions in November in which representatives from their departments and Franwell will introduce potential business licensees and aspiring workers to the Metrc system. Metrc is the Franwell program of plant monitoring, data entry and sale tracking for the cannabis industry. At all levels of production- seed, cultivation, harvest, transport, processing, testing and retail sales- the life cycle of the cannabis plant will be recorded into the Metrc system.

From the press release:

Metrc is a cloud-hosted, real-time, online software reporting system that will be used by licensed Michigan medical marihuana businesses to manage and report supply chain activities as required by state rules. Metrc uses serialized tags attached to every plant – and labels attached to wholesale packages – to track medical marijuana inventory through different stages of growth, as well the drying and curing processes.

Of Metrc, Franwell writes: “Metrc is first and foremost a regulatory compliance system, unlike any application on the market. Built by regulators specifically for oversight; Metrc provides the necessary visibility for adherence to rules, regulations and statues.”

Metrc will use tags featuring RFID technology, or radio frequency identification, to monitor the plants grown under the MMFLA system. “Metrc is a hosted, real-time system that uses serialized tags with bar-code, human-readable and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags attached to every plant, and labels attached to wholesale packages to track marijuana inventory. Each tag is attached to a plant to facilitate tracking through different stages of growth, as well the drying and curing processes.”

Franwell also includes some important information on their website: “There will be no charge for the (Metrc) system. Licensees will only be required to pay the shipping and handling fees for the tag orders. LARA has elected to pay all associated support fees and tag costs.”

The educational sessions will take place from 9am until noon in five locations throughout the state:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017

Oakland Community College, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, MI

  • Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017

Saginaw Valley State University, 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI

  • Monday, Nov. 13, 2017

Great Wolf Lodge, 3575 North US Highway 31 South, Traverse City, MI

  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

Wing’s Conference Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive, Kalamazoo, MI

  • Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017

Kellogg Conference Center, 219 South Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI

Pre-registration is required for all sessions, although there is no charge to attend. LARA advises that “potential licensees and their representatives must all register at https://www.metrc.com/michigan by 5:00 PM on Nov. 1, 2017 to guarantee themselves entrance to the event.”

If you are unable to attend the sessions for any reason the Nov. 9 and Nov. 15 events will also be live-streamed on the BMMR website. That broadcast will begin at 9am on those dates.  See www.michigan.gov/medicalmarihuana to watch those events live. Franwell also hosts a series of YouTube videos demonstrating the use of the Metrc system on their channel, which can be viewed any time and is available HERE.

From the release:

The LARA educational sessions are not board meetings and there will not be time set aside for public comment. The educational sessions will be informative presentations of processes for Metrc (the statewide monitoring system) and Accela (the application process) that will be utilized by future licensees and/or potential applicants and will not interfere with the authority of the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board or the Advisory Panel as provided under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.

Attendance at the educational sessions will not affect a potential licensee’s application. All interested members of the public will be able to participate in future training opportunities whether they attend the educational sessions or not. Any information or feedback provided at the educational sessions is merely advisory.

Franwell’s Metrc program is successfully used in other states. From their website:

Metrc was deployed in December 2013 for the State of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.  To date, the system has registered over 20,000 users and tracked well over 5,000,000 plants and 3,800,000 packages.

A recent Brookings Institute report on the implementation in Colorado states, “In many ways, the system is the backbone of Colorado’s regulatory structure governing legalized marijuana.” -John Hudak, Brookings Institute, July 31, 2014

The Director of LARA, Shelly Edgerton, will be speaking and conducting a Q&A session at a Conference in Ann Arbor on October 15th and the subjects of the tracking system, the Work Groups and the December 15th deadline will surely be discussed. Details on that event are available at www.micbd.com and tickets are available for $100 HERE.

Source: The Social Revolution

Rick Thompson
About Rick Thompson 50 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)