Michigan Marijuana Event Organizer License

What Is a Marijuana Event Organizer License?

A marijuana event organizer license allows its holders to apply for a temporary marijuana event license and permits the sale of marijuana at events. The purpose of this license is to come up with a regulatory system that allows adults 21 years and older to purchase marijuana at public events and consume them in a similar way event attendees buy and drink alcohol at events. Having a marijuana event license creates an opportunity for owners of event venues to make more money by charging marijuana vendors such as licensed marijuana microbusinesses and licensed dispensaries that sell their products at such venues. A marijuana event organizer must hire state-licensed security for their events to ensure that persons under 21 years do not attend such events. The security agency hired will also help to ensure proper waste disposal for any marijuana product leftover after an event.

Does Michigan Issue Marijuana Event Organizer License?

Yes. Michigan permits events where marijuana is consumed outside the houses. However, the state requires such event organizers to be licensed under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA) to enable them to hold such events. Although there are no specific requirements to obtain a marijuana event organizer license in Michigan, interested individuals or entities must satisfy some criteria under the MRTMA. The MRA Emergency Rules 5 to 9 list the application eligibility criteria for a marijuana organizer license in Michigan, but the notable disqualifying factors include:

  • Delinquent taxes for more than one year
  • Patterns of convictions involving theft, fraud, or dishonesty
  • Prior convictions involving the selling of controlled substances to a minor
  • Record of noncompliance with regulatory laws

In an Advisory Bulletin released by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) in June 2020, Michigan set specific rules for marijuana events that require strict compliance. These include:

  • Marijuana sales or consumption must not be visible from any public place or non-age-restricted area.
  • A temporary marijuana event license will only be issued by the MRA for a single day or up to seven consecutive days.
  • Entry to marijuana events must be limited to persons 21 years or older.
  • A temporary marijuana event can only be held at a venue expressly approved by a municipality to conduct a temporary marijuana event.
  • All marijuana waste generated at a temporary marijuana event must be gathered and disposed of appropriately.
  • Marijuana establishments must not allow onsite the sale, consumption, or serving of food or alcohol unless the establishment has the appropriate authorizations from other federal, state, or local agencies, as applicable.

Any marijuana event organizer licensee or any other licensees participating in the temporary marijuana event that violate these rules may face disciplinary actions by the authorities.

Do Event Organizer Licensees in Michigan Need Temporary Marijuana Event License Too?

Yes. Securing a marijuana event organizer license is not the only step required to host an event that allows marijuana sales and consumption in Michigan. Besides getting a marijuana event organizer license, a person planning to host temporary events will equally need to look into obtaining a license for marijuana temporary events. Specifically, a marijuana event organizer license is a ticket that enables its holder to apply for a temporary marijuana event license. A temporary marijuana event license allows licensed marijuana event organizers to host specific events. In other words, once a person obtains a marijuana event organizer license, they become qualified to get permission to hold a temporary marijuana event where adults 21 years and older can buy and use marijuana for a limited period in any location approved by the municipality.

How to Get a Marijuana Event Organizer License in Michigan

To get a marijuana event organizer license in Michigan, an interested person or entity should apply to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) online or using paper forms. The required documentation for applying for a marijuana event organizer license in Michigan include:

  • Copy of applicants government-issued IDs
  • Entity information documents - These include a copy of governing documents (such as bylaws and operating agreement), certificate of good standing, approval to conduct business transactions in Michigan (if applicable), and authorizing resolution). Others are a copy of the organizational structure and certificate of an assumed name (obtained from LARA Corporations Division).
  • Litigation documents - These consist of a copy of a judgment or a copy of a complaint if applicable
  • Debt, insolvency, or bankrupt documents
  • Tax liability and delinquency documents

There are two steps involved in getting a marijuana event organizer license in Michigan. These are:

Step 1 - Pre-Qualification Stage

Any applicant entity intending to apply for a marijuana event organizer license must complete the Entity Prequalification Application Form and provide the required supporting documentation. A sole proprietor must fill out the Sole Proprietor Prequalification Application Form and supply all needed documentation. Applicant entities and sole proprietors must pay a non-refundable fee (as determined by the MRA) at the prequalification application stage. Similarly, any supplemental individual (an individual with an ownership interest in an applicant entity) must complete the Supplemental Individual Prequalification Form and provide required supporting documentation.

Generally, the prequalification stage of a marijuana license application in Michigan involves conducting a thorough background check on the primary applicant and supplemental applicants (individuals and businesses with an ownership interest in the primary applicant). The essence of this check is to ensure they do not have any disqualifying criminal convictions on their records. During the background check, the MRA will search the criminal histories of all the applicants on several state and federal databases. Any applicant found with any of the following disqualifying convictions or conditions does not qualify to get a marijuana license in Michigan:

  1. The applicant has been charged with a misdemeanor involving a controlled substance, theft, dishonesty, or fraud in any part of the U.S. or been found responsible for violating a local ordinance in any state involving a controlled substance that substantially corresponds to a misdemeanor in that state within the past five years.
  2. The applicant has been charged with or released from jail for a felony under Michigan laws, other state laws, or the United States laws within the past ten years. A person convicted of a controlled substance-related felony within the past ten years is also not qualified.
  3. The applicant has deliberately applied for a marijuana license under the state marijuana laws and provided false data.
  4. The license applicant holds an elective office of a governmental unit in Michigan, another state in the U.S, or the federal government. A member of or employee of a regulatory body of a governmental unit in Michigan, another state, or the federal government is also not eligible. Likewise, an employee of a governmental unit in Michigan cannot apply for a marijuana license. This condition does not apply to an individual who holds an elected office or an elected precinct delegate or an employee of a federally recognized Indian tribe.

At the prequalification stage, the primary license applicants must pay a certain non-refundable application fee as determined by the MRA. However, supplemental applicants are not required to pay any application fees. After completing the applicable prequalifications forms, applicants may submit them and all required documentation either by mail, in person, or online through the LARA's application portal. First-time users of the online application portal must register before they can proceed with their applications. To apply for a marijuana event organizer license, interested persons or entities can send the completed prequalification form with required documents to the MRA by mail to:

Department of Licencing and Regulatory Affairs

Marijuana Regulatory Agency

Licencing Division

P.O.Box 30205

Lansing, MI 48909

Phone: (517) 284-8599

Alternatively, they can submit completed forms and supporting documentation in person at:

Department of Licencing and Regulatory Affairs

Marijuana Regulatory Agency

Licencing Division

2407 N. Grand River Avenue

Lasing, MI 48906

Step 2 - License Qualification Stage

At the qualification stage of a marijuana event organizer license application, applicant entities and sole proprietors must complete a Marijuana Event Organizer License Application Form and provide the required documentation listed in the application form. The MRA will issue an applicant a marijuana event organizer license once they provide accurate information and the required documents at this stage.

For further guides on applying for a Michigan marijuana event organizer license, interested persons can peruse the Marijuana Event Organizer Application Instructions provided by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

In Michigan, licensed marijuana event organizers must apply for temporary marijuana event licenses to enable them to organize marijuana events per time. In other words, each marijuana event that a licensed marijuana event organizer will hold requires a separate temporary license application to the MRA. Applicants must complete the Temporary Marijuana Event License Application Form and turn in their application at least 90 days in advance (before the event) to enable the MRA to review such an events' application. The following is a list of information required to complete this application:

  • The applicant’s name

  • The marijuana event organizer license number and each marijuana establishment license held by the applicant

  • The address of the event venue where the temporary marijuana event will be held

  • The name of the temporary marijuana event

  • The dates and estimated number of hours for which the temporary marijuana event will last

  • Contact information for the applicant’s designated primary contact person for the event

  • Contact details of the designated contact person(s) who will be onsite at the event. Such person must be reachable by phone during the entire time of the event

  • A list of all licensees and employees that will be providing onsite sales of marijuana products at the temporary marijuana event

  • A picture of the layout of the temporary marijuana event indicating all of the following:

    • Where the marijuana event will be taking place within the event space
    • The entry and exit points that would be used during the event
    • Marijuana consumption areas
    • Areas where marijuana products will be stored
    • The specific location of each marijuana vendor (licensed dispensaries and microbusinesses)
    • Marijuana retail areas where marijuana products will be sold
    • Where any marijuana waste will be disposed

In Michigan, a temporary marijuana event license may have a validity period of one day or up to seven consecutive days at most.

Are there Local Regulations for Temporary Marijuana Event Licenses in Michigan?

Yes. Besides state-level approval, the municipality where a licensed marijuana event organizer plans to hold a temporary event must equally authorize the proposed venue for such an event. A municipality must issue a written attestation on a form provided by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) authorizing the applicant to engage in onsite marijuana sales to and consumption by persons 21 years and older. Each local jurisdiction in the state has specific rules that applicants must meet. As such, applicants must engage their proposed municipality and obtain the requisite approval before applying to the MRA.

What Is the Cost of a Marijuana Event Organizer License in Michigan?

The application fee for a marijuana event organizer license in Michigan is $6,000 and must be paid at the prequalification stage of the application. A person or entity whose prequalification application is approved will pay an initial licensure fee of $1,000. The annual cost of renewing a marijuana event organizer license is also $1,000.

In Michigan, temporary marijuana event license applications do not require any application fees. However, each marijuana event organizer licensed to hold a temporary marijuana event will pay an initial licensure fee as listed below:

  • Temporary marijuana events without the sale of marijuana products will pay a $500 fee for each day of the scheduled event. This fee covers enforcement and compliance costs of the MRA
  • A temporary marijuana event that includes the sale of marijuana products will pay the following fee:
    • A $500 fee for each licensee (dispensary and microbusiness) authorized to sell marijuana products at the event. This fee covers enforcement and compliance costs of the MRA
    • A $500 temporary marijuana event fee for each day of the event

However, if a marijuana microbusiness or dispensary slated for a marijuana event pulls out before the first day of that event, the marijuana event organizer can engage the MRA to refund that portion of the fees paid. They can use such a refund

The MRA accepts payment by cash, check (cashier's check or e-check), money order, and debit card or credit card (Discover, MasterCard, Visa). All payments for marijuana microbusiness licenses in Michigan must be made payable to the State of Michigan.

Can a Marijuana Event Organizer Licensee Apply for Other Cannabis Licenses in Michigan?

Yes. According to R 420.24 (1) of the Michigan Administrative Code, a marijuana event organizer can engage in the operations of a marijuana establishment. However, they must first obtain the appropriate licenses to enable them to do so.

Michigan Marijuana Event Organizer License
In this section: