During “The War On Drugs” the state of Michigan from the late Sixties to the end of the 20th century ranked Number #1 with New York as the two states in America with the highest number of convictions for marijuana possession, trafficking and cultivation.
Now in 2019, Michigan is ready to legalize the sale and cultivation of “Adult Use Recreational” marijuana after first legalizing it for adult recreational use in 2018. Michigan legalized Medical Marijuana possession, sales and cultivation facilities with proper licensing in 2008.
What’s impressive about Michigan’s new cannabis legalization however, is the clear, methodical way they’re going about it. Michigan is taking the “citizen, business-friendly approach” to its proactive cannabis legalization on all fronts.
Because Michigan’s state regulators are planning to launch a new legalized adult use recreational marijuana market this fall of 2019, there has been extensive activity in the state’s legislature already.
Notable is the refreshing, straightforward way they choose their terms: instead of avoiding the stigmatized name for cannabis many other states are clinging to, Michigan has taken the, “head-on” approach by choosing the popular colloquial term of “marijuana” to describe cannabis both in its legislative documents and press releases.
As state regulators are planning to accept applications for marijuana shops this fall, Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer announced an exciting update: Michigan has done away with the punitive sounding, “Bureau of Marijuana Regulation” replacing it with the citizen-friendly, “Marijuana Regulatory Agency” by her executive order.
Governor Whitmer, said in a statement to the press late in April 2019,
“I’m confident that the MRA is prepared to implement a fair and effective regulatory structure that protects Michiganders while providing an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to thrive,”
Governor Whitmer added that,
“Having a single state agency dedicated to administering all state laws relating to marijuana will allow Michigan to continue to lead the nation in this emerging industry.”
And that newly named state agency, the MRA, has been taking the methodical, sensible approach to legalizing the dynamic array of new cannabis businesses with careful planning. Michigan has wisely chosen not to suddenly open the floodgates of retail marijuana sales. Newly appointed MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said, “Things are moving ahead quickly” in the planning stages. He added that,
“It is our intention to have an initial set of industry ‘emergency rules’ in place this summer (to give) local municipalities, other state agencies and potential business owners enough time to plan and prepare (to) allow for a successful roll-out of the new adult-use marijuana law.”
When Brisbo said, “quickly” he wasn’t exaggerating. To date, the MRA has already processed over 180,000 applications for marijuana registry cards, and completely cleared a backlog of 800 marijuana facility license applications since last year! Brisbo is striving to clarify the state’s mission when it comes to legal cannabis businesses which is to,
“Establish Michigan as the national model for a regulatory program that stimulates business growth while preserving safe consumer access to marijuana.”
The new MRA is actually a re-vamped, streamlined version of its former self and now falls within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). What this means to everyday citizens is that the MRA can now combine previous authorities, functions, and duties into an agency that allows the state of Michigan to much more efficiently regulate both medical and adult-use marijuana.
These exciting upgrades are proving to have significant benefits for the men and women of Michigan. Under the new Michigan law, adults age 21 are now allowed:
And how will the state use its new windfall of legal marijuana tax dollars?
Once retail sales are in place, the state will take the practical grassroots approach and collect these new taxes on marijuana sales to fund much needed road repairs which, in previous years of public referendums, proved to be the #1 civic concern to the people of Michigan.
Refreshing as well, is that the MRA has promised to hold four public meetings each year in which they will record public input while also providing completely transparent information on the administration of the state’s marijuana laws.
If you’re ready to set up shop as one of Michigan’s diverse, exciting new legal marijuana businesses, you’re going to need to protect your enterprise from a variety of liabilities that could compromise your business. You can depend on Cover Cannabis to thoroughly address all of your insurance needs.
As one of the first agencies in America specializing in cannabis and to write cannabis insurance policies for over 12 years now, you’ll always feel assured that the friendly, knowledgeable people at Cover Cannabis will provide the specialized cannabis business protection that will enable your new business to thrive!