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Michigan Changes Required Disclosures for Marihuana Applicant Criminal History

Cannabis Law Blog

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Michigan Changes Required Disclosures for Marihuana Applicant Criminal History

by Annabel Shea

As is the case in every state, entities and individuals applying for a medical marihuana facility license through the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation in Michigan must complete a series of disclosure forms. In Michigan, those are found in the State’s Entity/Individual Prequalification Application Packet. The disclosure forms require applicants to disclose information pertaining to entity information, ownership interest, financial information, government regulation, criminal history and litigation history.

As Michigan continues to process the first crush of applications, the State has been refining its requirements. Most recently, the State this month revised Disclosures 7 and 7-SA for criminal history. Previously, these forms first required the applicant to provide further information into the applicant’s criminal history if the applicant had been either:

  1. “indicted for, charged with, arrested for, convicted of, pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or forfeited bail… concerning any felony criminal offense or a misdemeanor involving a controlled substance, dishonesty, theft or fraud… regardless of whether the offense has been reversed on appeal, reduced, expunged, set aside, pardoned or otherwise,” or
  2. “found responsible for violating a local ordinance involving a controlled substance, dishonesty, theft or fraud that substantially corresponds to a misdemeanor in that state.”

If the applicant answered yes to either of these questions, the applicant then was required to provide additional information detailing arrests, charges, indictments and convictions. The form and instructions were not clear whether these details were required for any arrests, charges, indictments and convictions, or only for those that fit within the defined categories.

Newly revised Disclosure 7 has removed the instruction that details need to be provided only if the applicant answered “yes” to the initial questions. Now, applicants are required to provide information regarding past arrests, charges, indictments, and convictions for any criminal offenses, felony or misdemeanor, regardless of whether the offense involved a controlled substance, dishonesty, theft, or fraud. In other words, applicants with criminal records containing offenses such as misdemeanor drunk driving or assault offenses, which previously were outside the scope of the disclosure requirement, must now disclose them.

While the revision to Disclosure 7 does not change the circumstances that render an applicant ineligible under section 402(2)(a) and (b) of the Medical Marihuana Facility Licensing Act (MCL 333.27402), it may pose an obstacle to licensure. As we reported last week, the first two applications to come before Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board failed to receive approval based on incomplete disclosures. In our experience, this was far from surprising. Ordinarily, absent exceptional circumstances, failure to disclose information to a licensing board is a fatal error.

With Michigan’s Licensing Board just now starting to review applications, and departmental staff beginning to see standard fact patterns emerge among applications, expect further changes and refinements to the State’s process. And be sure to check back with Dykema’s Cannabis Law Blog for additional updates.