Michigan recognizes marijuana micro business as an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter the marijuana market and operate integrated marijuana businesses within the state. The marijuana microbusiness structure in Michigan allows business owners to grow marijuana, process marijuana, and sell cannabis-infused products to adults 21 years or older without depending on other suppliers. However, a Michigan marijuana microbusiness is not permitted to sell or transfer marijuana or marijuana-infused products to other licensed recreational marijuana establishments. Also, they cannot sell their seeds to other marijuana growers. The essence is to enable a standalone marijuana business model independent of other marijuana establishments.
In Michigan, marijuana microbusiness establishments can:
Yes. The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA) requires and permits marijuana microbusinesses to be licensed in Michigan under the Michigan Department of Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and the Marijuana Regulatory Marijuana Licensees Rule 420.105. Initially, not all individuals or entities were permitted to apply for a microbusiness license in Michigan. At some point, only Michigan residents were eligible to obtain this license, but non-residents can now apply for it.
Before applying for a marijuana microbusiness license, applicants should determine whether their municipalities of interest permits establishing microbusinesses. The LARA provides the public with a list of communities that have opted out. Considering the limitation of cultivation, processing, and sales, licensed marijuana growers, processors, and secure transporter cannot operate marijuana microbusinesses.
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issues marijuana microbusiness licenses to interested entrepreneurs in Michigan. The application can be done online or using paper forms. The required documentation for applying for a microbusiness license in Michigan include:
There are two steps involved in getting a marijuana microbusiness license in Michigan. The MRA allows an applicant to complete the first step before getting a suitable location for the proposed business. Anyone entrepreneur interested in getting a marijuana microbusiness license in Michigan should take the following steps:
Step 1 - Pre-Qualification Stage
Any applicant entity intending to apply for a marijuana microbusiness license must complete the Entity Prequalification Application Form and attach the required 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. According to the MMFLA, any applicant found with any of the following disqualifying convictions or conditions does not qualify to get a marijuana license in Michigan:
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. The prequalification stage equally reviews the financial capability of the applicants to determine and ensure that they satisfy the minimum financial requirements for the proposed business.
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 Michigan marijuana microbusiness license, submit the completed prequalification form with required documents to the MRA by mail to:
Department of Licencing and Regulatory Affairs
Marijuana Regulatory Agency
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 284-8599
Alternatively, submit completed forms and supporting documentation in person at:
Department of Licencing and Regulatory Affairs
Marijuana Regulatory Agency
2407 N. Grand River Avenue
Lasing, MI 48906
Step 2 - License Qualification Stage
At the qualification stage of a marijuana microbusiness license application, applicant entities and sole proprietors that have already identified a location for their proposed marijuana facility can complete a Marijuana Establishment License Application Form. They should select "Marijuana Microbusiness" under the license type field on the form and provide all required documentation listed in the application form. As a part of the required documentation at the license qualification stage, a license applicant must prepare and submit a business plan to the MRA.
A prospective licensee must provide information on the location with details of the municipality of the proposed marijuana establishment. At this stage, the MRA vets the proposed facility and reviews the business specifications, municipality information, general employee information, and proof of financial capability. A physical marijuana establishment must pass an inspection by the MRA within 60 days of submitting a complete qualification application. The MRA may deny a license application if a prospective licensee fails to pass the inspection within 60 days of the license qualification application submission. Applicants must ensure that the proposed property for the marijuana establishment is qualified for a marijuana facility under the chosen municipality ordinances and zoning regulations.
Also, prospective licensees must pass a Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) inspection within 60 days of submitting their license qualification applications to the MRA. As with the MRA vetting, failure to pass a BFS inspection under 60 days of qualification application submission may prompt the MRA to deny an application. Once the MRS approves an application at this stage and the applicant has passed the BFS and MRA inspection, they may proceed to pay the required licensing assessment fee. The MRA will issue an applicant a microbusiness license, and they can start operating legally in Michigan as a marijuana testing facility. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) (LARA) provides guides on applying for a Michigan marijuana microbusiness license.
A Michigan marijuana microbusiness license applicant must pay a non-refundable $6,000 application fee for prequalification. Upon approval, they will pay an initial licensure fee of $8,000. To renew their licenses, marijuana microbusiness licensees pay $10,000, $8,000, and $6,000 for top, middle, and bottom tiers, respectively. The renewal fees will be determined based on the gross retail sales by licensees in a fiscal year as adjudged by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA). 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.
No. A marijuana microbusiness licensee holding other cannabis licenses in Michigan violates Section 9 of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA), MCL 333.27959.