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Michigan Seeks Input on “Inventory Startup,” Transition Issues

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Michigan Seeks Input on “Inventory Startup,” Transition Issues

As the State of Michigan continues to move forward in developing rules to implement the State’s new Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) today reached out for the second time for stakeholder input on critical issues. This time, LARA is asking for feedback on questions that LARA characterizes as concerning “inventory start-up.” Fundamentally, these questions address how and whether individuals involved in the current caregiver model under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act can transition to operating under the MMFLA.

Specifically, the Director of LARA, Shelly Edgerton, issued the following statement and request:

LARA is currently seeking comments from interested parties on the topic of inventory startup as it relates to the licensed categories. The purpose of this document is to gather information only and it is not meant to interfere with the authority of the Board or Advisory Panel procedures when these panels are appointed as provided under the Act. To that end we are asking for your input by responding to the questions below. We are only asking for brief answers, or comments limited to a short paragraph or a few sentences. Please provide your responses by 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 21st, 2017. After the responses are compiled, a meeting and/or conference call may be scheduled if appropriate to review the responses and receive additional input. Please submit your responses to curtisc8@michigan.gov.

Questions:

    1. Should LARA require all licensees to begin without inventory or zero product on day 1 of license issuance and thereafter track all cultivation from the date of licensure?
    2. Should LARA have an inventory startup period that allows a grower licensee to transition medical marihuana cultivated as allowed under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) into the future Statewide Monitoring System for tracking and inventory verification provided it is recorded/tracked? If yes, should LARA limit the timeframe in which these acquisitions can occur? What would you recommend as a timeframe?
    3. Should LARA consider an inventory startup period for all 5 license categories?
    4. Should a licensed grower or processor be permitted to include into a startup inventory the existing marihuana or marihuana-infused products cultivated or processed under the MMMA of the former registered primary caregiver who becomes an active employee of the licensee pursuant to the Act?

We can anticipate that LARA will continue to solicit stakeholder input, although LARA’s statement again notes that its work on the rules is to be in consultation with the yet-to-be-appointed Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Board and Advisory Panel. Given that the formal roles of advisory panels are fairly limited under the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act, the new Board and LARA will have some discretion with respect to how deeply they involve the Advisory Panel. While it remains to be seen what opportunities will be provided for public input into the rulemaking process (apart from those required under the APA), LARA’s continued outreach to the industry is promising.

As the rulemaking process in Michigan continues to unfold, check back here to Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for further updates.