February 6, 2019

Medical marijuana in Michigan has not been an easy path. Although it has had a medical marijuana program for years, it is far from thriving as legislative issues continue to give the program setbacks. In fact, the program disbanded in 2016 but was reinstated later in the year.

While they get the details sorted out, patients can obtain marijuana from a few authorized dispensaries (aka Provisioning Centers), but they won’t be buying the flower form. Marihuana (as they call it in Michigan), is illegal in this state. Only concentrates can be purchased.

In addition to the current licenses for Provisioning Centers, there are also licenses for growing operations. Here’s what is involved when opening a marijuana growing operation in Michigan.

When was cannabis made legal

Michigan is a strange case among all the different states that are involved in the legalization of marijuana. In Michigan, cannabis is officially called “marihuana,” and it has a long and strenuous relationship with the state.

The medical marijuana system was undone by a court ruling in May 2016, and a new system was set up in September 2016 by Governor Snyder. While the state drafts the new system, patients or caregivers can still grow marijuana plants, but caregivers may only have 5 patients. Once the new laws go into effect, only concentrates and topicals are allowed.

When was cannabis made legal
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The state also considered adult-use recreational legalization, but the issue failed to make the voter referendum due to the legislature as well. A legalization group has appealed to the US Supreme Court over the state’s interference. In the meanwhile, the state has been holding seminars to prepare those who are interested in opening a business under the new system.

How much money is there in the marijuana market

Projected medical sales for 2021 are expected to reach $626,600,000. If recreational marijuana gets legalized, that could lead to more than $939,100,000 in sales until 2021.

Growing Operation owner requirements

Before you can start the application process for opening a growing operation application, you must gain City Council approval. If you aren’t already on good terms with city officials, now is the time to do so. Applicants that are well knowledgeable on the marijuana industry are preferred so you may want to hire a consultant before you start the process.

Well-prepared applicants that get initial licensure will have to provide the state with a legitimate business plan and prove they have the financial ability to implement it and sustain for at least two years. Previous business experience counts and will count positively towards the approval of the application.

License requirements

The licensing application process will be quite challenging, involving background checks and a lot of paperwork. The goal of the state is to keep legal marijuana growing as disconnected as possible from illicit activities. People who have been in any way involved with the marijuana black market in the past will be immediately disqualified.

Municipalities are the most important factor in your way to licensure. Picking the right location will make or break your growing operation. The number and the location of medical marijuana facilities depend entirely on the city authorities. Following local news and keeping on good terms with town officials will give you a competitive advantage in the tough race for licensure.

License requirements
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The State of Michigan has set a list of factors that will be taken into account when reviewing applications. The most important regard previous convictions (applicants will be disqualified) and residency (applicants who have not been Michigan residents two years prior to the application will be disqualified).

Available License Types

There are currently four “Marihuana” licenses available:

  • Marihuana Growing Operation: “A commercial entity located in this state that cultivates marihuana and that distributes marihuana to a licensed processor or licensed provisioning center.”
  • Marihuana Processor: “A commercial entity located in this state that purchases marijuana from a grower and that extracts resin from the marihuana or creates a marijuana-infused product for sale and transfer in packaged form to a provisioning center.”
  • Secure Transporter of Marihuana: A commercial entity located in this state that stores marihuana and transports marihuana between marihuana facilities for a fee.”
  • Provisioning Center: “A commercial entity located in this state that purchases marihuana from a grower or processor and sells, supplies, or provides marihuana to registered qualifying patients, directly or through the patients’ registered primary caregivers. Provisioning center includes any commercial property where marihuana is sold at retail to registered qualifying patients or registered primary caregivers.”

How much does a marijuana growing operation in Michigan make?

Marijuana growing operations generally bring anywhere from $50,000 a year up to millions, or even tens of millions of dollars.


Timeframe – Image powered by

The time frame varies greatly on how long it takes to get a cannabis growing operation up and running, but it can often take one year or more to get finances in order, acquire necessary licenses, get suppliers and employees lined up, etc.

Links to consulting companies that can help open a marijuana growing operation in Michigan

Looking to start a marijuana growing operation in Michigan? The consulting companies listed below provide a wide range of services from helping with state licensing requirements and applications to running and stocking your business.


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  1. By greg

    ,28 Nov 2018
    is there a demand for growing marijuana in Michigan? Can you make money by commercially growing marijuana in Michigan? What if I can only get a growing permit and not a selling permit?
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