Licensing board slow to provide medical marijuana regulations

No one knows what the guidelines are yet.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The state of Michigan has been working on strategic guidelines for business owners to apply for a medical marijuana license to operate. There's just one problem: no one knows what those guidelines are.

This comes after Governor Snyder signed three bills last year, paving the way for a framework for the state's medical marijuana program. 

"LARA has released rules here and there just little pieces starting in August, they started releasing information but there's a lot that's still missing," Canna Media Works owner Jamie Cooper said.

Tuesday, the licensing board had an item on their agenda to discuss those rules and regulations.

"This is the moment, we've all been waiting for where the regulations will be released and we'll have a clear picture of what the state is expecting from those that are seeking licenses," Cooper said.

However, the board didn't disclose any of them.

"People that do these things have to do it right, correctly with the law that's been written. It's not always something you can make a copy of and get done, but they are working hard on that. I believe before the end of the week you're probably going to see something come out," said Cooper.

"It was a huge shock for us all because we were expecting this to be the meeting that has the most information that we've seen yet" a Medical Marijuana Licensing board member said.

December 15 is when the application process opens.

"How many people are actually going to be able to pull all of that together in two weeks time?" Cooper asked.

The state said they'll have those requirements posted on their website by the end of this week. 

"It left a bitter taste in our mouths, we were expecting to have an opportunity to talk to the board before we submitted applications," Cooper said.

She said these guidelines are crucial for the state's medical marijuana program to continue.

"There are 262,000 patients registered in Michigan right now. It's huge. We're the second largest medical program in the country behind California.This industry is supposed to create more jobs than manufacturing and health care in 2020, this is a big deal for Michigan," said Cooper. 

Ted Daniels is the CEO of a cannabis security company. 

"We've been involved with clients nationally in a lot of the competitive states for the application process. Every single one of those states has a security section, a diversion section. I want to see what kind of mandates the state lays out on at least the minimum requirements on how these facilities are to be secured," CEO of National Cannabis Security Services Ted Daniels said.

But, there is still more waiting.

"We wait. It's hurry up and wait," Cooper said. "Regardless of the delay of things, we still have a great opportunity that sits in front of us and I'm excited to see what's going to happen in West Michigan."

The committee is encouraging everyone to keep checking the website for those regulations. A LARA spokesperson said there will also be an email sent out when the framework is posted online. 

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