How to open a Dispensary in Michigan

Michigan has a troubled relationship with medical marijuana. Legislation has suffered a lot of setbacks while the dispensary system was disbanded in 2016, only to be reinstated later in the year.

However, there are some authorized dispensaries (aka Provisioning Centers) in the state to cover the needs of caregivers and patients. Marihuana (as it is called in Michigan), is forbidden in flower form, as the state only allows for concentrates. Opening a Provisioning Center is still possible within state limits. Let’s take a look at what is involved in starting a marijuana dispensary in Michigan.

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

    The medical dispensary system was undone by a court ruling in May of 2016, and a new system was set up in September of 2016 by Governor Snyder.

    Marijuana Legal

    While the new system is being drafted, patients or caregivers can still grow under what remains of the existing system, but caregivers are limited to 5 patients for now. The new laws allow for concentrates and topicals.

    Adult-use recreational legalization suffered a significant setback as the revised legislature narrowed the signature collection window, which invalidated the petition for a voter referendum on the critical November 2016 ballot.

    A legalization group has appealed to the US Supreme Court. Michigan has been holding seminars to prepare those interested in the new system.

    How many marijuana businesses are there currently in the state

    Marijuana businesses in Michigan are called “Provisioning Centers.” As the state is still working on the new legislature, specific regulations for different types of businesses might occur. However, Michigan has passed their deadline for how long they can delay applications. The law gave them 360 days from the effective, which was no later than September 15, 2017.

    How much money is there in the dispensary 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.

    How much money is there in the dispensary market
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    Provisioning Center owner requirements

    Unlike many other states, Michigan starts with local officials. Before the state even considers granting an application, you must be approved by the city council. Therefore, it helps to be in good terms with the city officials, as they can help you through the local legislation requirement.

    Applicants are required to demonstrate that they know the marijuana business in and out before applying. Therefore, it would be wise to employ a consultant before starting the application procedure.

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

    License requirements

    Municipalities are the most important factor in regard to licensure. Picking the right location will make or break your business. Every city will decide how many medical marijuana facilities they will allow if any, and where they will be located. Most cities don’t have a finalized plan yet, so it is a good idea to follow the local news to capitalize on any opportunities that may occur.

    A few other points worth mentioning is that anyone applying for a license must have a description of how they plan to track the product/inventory. Along these lines testing procedures for the product must be in place as well along with packaging for the product.

    marijuana licensed requirements
    License requirements

    Available Dispensary Licenses

    The Michigan marijuana dispensary license is one of four “marihuana” licenses available:

    • 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.”


    Michigan is currently accepting new applications, but it may take some time to receive city council approval, depending on your situation. Therefore, you should allow plenty of time, likely more than a year, to collect all of the required information and capital for licensure.

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    Looking to start a marijuana dispensary in Michigan? You’re probably going to want help. These marijuana consulting firms can help you prepare for your application and fulfill the license requirements.

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