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Cannabis Consumption Lounges Coming to Michigan

John Fraser

When Michigan voters legalized the adult, recreational use of marijuana last November, they also legalized commercial businesses associated with the newly legal market. While the language of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (“MRTMA”) only explicitly references growers, processors, retailers, secure transporters, safety compliance facilities, and microbusinesses, the law also gave authority to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency create additional license types.

On July 3, 2019, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (“MRA”) filed its set of Emergency Rules that will govern the adult use (or recreational) marijuana industry. The MRA’s Emergency Rules have created 4 new special license types in addition to the 6 created by the MRTMA.

These 4 special license types are:

  • Excess Marijuana Grower: This is a special type of license for those cultivation facilities seeking to grow more than 10,000 plants.
  • Marijuana Event Organizer: This permits a person or entity to apply for a temporary marijuana event license.
  • Temporary Marijuana Event: This permit would be to organize events like Ann Arbor’s Hash Bash or Cannabis Cup and would permit licensed Retailers or Microbusinesses to have designated retail spaces to sell their products at these events.
  • Designated Consumption Establishment: This permits a business to allow adults over the age of 21 to consume cannabis on the premises. Think of a Designated Consumption Establishment as a “smoking lounge.” For those that have visited Amsterdam, a Designated Consumption Establishment will probably look fairly similar to a “coffeeshop.” Michigan’s Designated Consumption Establishments will have to be kept separate from other marijuana-related businesses—with their own separate entrances and exits. In other words, a licensed Marijuana Retailer (dispensary) could have an accompanying Designated Consumption Lounge in an adjoining suite.

One criticism of Michigan’s commercial medical marijuana system was the absence of any designated areas for consuming cannabis. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency solicited a significant amount of feedback from industry stakeholders as part of workgroup sessions, and it’s clear that the Agency listened to the feedback by making sure there are businesses that can provide safe and responsible areas for adults to comfortably and legally consume cannabis.

Michigan will start accepting applications for Designated Consumption Lounges and other recreational marijuana businesses beginning November 1, 2019.

If you are interested in starting your own cannabis business in Michigan, contact Attorney John Fraser at Grewal Law PLLC for a free consultation to discuss how our team can help you start your business.

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