Michigan could be set to make millions of dollars after a new law that recently passed begins to be implemented. The state has joined most of America in enacting marijuana reform, having a medical marijuana industry that serves patients in need of the many benefits the plant can provide. Although the state legalized medical marijuana in 2008, it did not create licenses for a legal marijuana industry. Instead of this, it allowed patients to grow their own and for caregivers to be allowed to grow marijuana for up to 5 patients. 12 plants is the limit per patient. The outcome has resulted in the state having 240,000 registered medical marijuana patients and approximately 40,000 caregivers.
Moving Toward Regulation
Now the law has opened up to change the way medical marijuana has been dealt with in Michigan since the state legalized the plant for medicinal use. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has been given the task of regulating the industry and licensing growers, testers and dispensaries. Communities will have the final say on whether to allow marijuana businesses to set up shop in their area. While some cities have been reluctant about involving themselves with the industry, Detroit has already passed an ordinance to allow dispensaries to set up in the city and they now have 61 facilities operational in the city. Now the rest of the patients in the state will have the ability to have access to a dispensary, so long as they live in a region that approves it.
“Communities have to authorize all the businesses – the growers, the safety facilities, the transporters, the dispensaries,” says Shelly Edgerton, the director of LARA. “They may authorize, but the business may not be eligible based on our background check.”
New Opportunities for Marijuana Caregivers
The rules for caregivers will remain the same except now it has opened up into 5 categories of licenses for growers who have up to 1,500 plants, testing facilities, transporters, dispensaries and seed to sale tracking. This opens up the door for caregivers who have been serving patients for the past several years to expand their service into a legitimate business that can provide them with a reasonable living. For those who have been growing medical marijuana plants for years and developed a love for it, this is great news.
A Bright Forecast for Michigan Marijuana Profits
The medical marijuana industry in Michigan is estimated to generate over $700 million and, if they choose to legalize in 2018, the figure could surpass $1 billion. Dispensaries will be taxed 3 percent on their gross sales and that money will go back into the state as well as local communities. The fee for applications and licenses will go towards covering the cost of regulating the industry which is being estimated to cost approximately $18.6 million, according to Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal. Applications for licenses are being made available on LARA’s website.
It may take some time to get all the regulations written and licenses approved and distributed but it seems clear that Michigan is well on its way to establishing a solid, lucrative industry.