Late last month, Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (“MRA”) released its new Medical Marijuana Facilities License and Marijuana Establishment License (adult-use) application forms and instructions.
MRA’s new forms were issued in connection with the new topic-based administrative rules for both facility types released in the same week, which reflected lessons learned by the State and industry after operating under temporary and emergency rules since 2017. Under the new rules, all applicants are subject to the almost the same standards and requirements for both medical and adult-use licensing. Most of the application changes will serve to further streamline the application process, eliminating extraneous information that bogged down applications in the past. Applications remain a two-step process of submitting for prequalification (“Step 1”) and facility licensure (“Step 2”).
The most notable change to the medical prequalification application include the elimination of the disclosure requiring bank account information in its entirety, including 12 months of statements for all accounts. The application now also omits MRA’s “base questions,” which sought information about every business entity owned by any owner of the marijuana license applicant. Instead, more limited information about other business interests is now requested in the body of the application. Questions that previously asked about prior caregiver activity are no longer part of the application.
Other changes have also lowered the documentation burden. Applicants no longer need to provide all tax information dating back three years, and instead only need to provide limited information for the past 12 months. Prior requirements to disclose every piece of property owned by an applicant have been eliminated entirely. Litigation history now only needs to be disclosed for the past five years rather than the past seven years.
Although the burden is greatly lessened on applicants, MRA has been clear that they will still dig deeply into tax and financial information and other matters depending on the results of background investigations. Further, all applicants will need to obtain a tax clearance attestation from Michigan’s Department of Treasury.
MRA’s Facility License Application (Step 2) has seen fewer significant changes. However, MRA no longer requests copies of pertinent municipal ordinances, recognizing that the required attestation from the municipality provides the same information. The remaining changes to the application forms are stylistic cleanups and an emphasis on notifying the MRA of whether and when a facility is ready for inspection.
The last time that the MRA updated its forms, there was an intermediate period where MRA still accepted applications using old forms. With this revision to the forms, there will be no grace period and MRA will not accept former versions of the forms. Additionally, although no changes are required for any applications in progress, any deficiency notices that require corrections to disclosures or forms, including attestations, must have those corrections submitted on the new forms.
Stay tuned to Dykema’s Cannabis Blog for more information on Michigan’s growing cannabis industry.