Licensing issues lead to medical marijuana shortage in Michigan

Few licensed growers in Michigan

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter, Kayla Clarke

DETROIT - Because of licensing issues at the state level, medical marijuana facilities across the state are closed because there's no product for patients.

On Tuesday both Gov. Whitmer and the new director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs asked the state's medical marijuana board to allow temporary operating facilities to reopen and allow them to get marijuana from caregivers, not just commercial grow operations.

“There is a shortage of supply in the market because there are only a handful of licensed growers in Michigan,” Jeff Schroder with law firm Plunkett Cooney said. “This would allow dispensaries and retail provisioning centers to purchase their quantities from caregivers again.”

It's a stop-gap measure that would get provisioning centers open again while the state works on licensing. That only applies to medical marijuana. Michigan has yet to have written recreational marijuana rules.

The Reef, a well-known provisioning center in Detroit, would likely be able to open next week if the board approves the measure Wednesday.

“I think it’s a step forward,” said The Reef’s Rush Hassan. “It’s definitely a short term solution but it does open up patient access for these products.”

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