State won't delay medical pot license deadline

State won’t delay medical pot license deadline

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(Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP/Getty Images) Lansing — The state intends to hold fast to a Sept. 15 deadline for operating medical marijuana businesses to get licensed or shut down. Access to medical marijuana is not as challenging for patients as it would have been when a temporary emergency rule months ago allowed those facilities to continue operating through Sept. 15, said Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation Director Andrew Brisbo. “The intention of the temporary operation rule was to provide continuous patient access,” Brisbo said. “Now that we have licenses in the system, albeit a small number of licenses, … there is still access.” The insistence on the Sept. 15 deadline comes as people urged the state during comment at Thursday’s licensing board meeting to push back the deadline again. An “industry shutdown” in September would have implications for Republican politicians as patients’ anger would fall on GOP Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican Party, said Rick Thompson, a board member of marijuana groups MIlegalize and NORML of Michigan. All politicians, he said, “should be aware of the electoral damage a shutdown would have.” While the state implemented its licensing system for medical marijuana businesses, applicants who were operating existing business were told if they submitted applications before Feb. 15 they would have until Sept. 15 to continue operating without risking repercussions in the licensing process. As of Thursday, the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board had granted 16 licenses including seven provisioning centers in four separate communities: Jackson, Burton, Detroit and Dearborn. The locations ensure at least 67 percent of Michigan’s 290,230 medical marijuana cardholders live in counties within 30 miles of a licensed center and 75 percent within 60 miles, according to the state. Unlicensed facilities still open on Sept. 16 will be issued cease-and-desist letters, Brisbo said. The […]

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