On the eve of 4/20 — the date most associated with marijuana legalization efforts — the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board gave preliminary approval to nine applications, denied two and postponed action on another potential business.
And yet, 16 months after the Michigan Legislature passed bills to regulate and tax the medical marijuana industry and four months after the state started accepting applications for licenses, not a single business has been awarded a license to begin operating in what has been estimated will be at least a $700-million business in the state.
The slow pace comes as dispensaries already serving customers face a June 15 deadline to either get a license or be shut down.
“There was a lot to be done after the law was passed. We had to get an IT system set up, build an organization and hire employees,” said Andrew Brisbo, director of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation.