Yes. The Medical Marijuana Facilities Licencing Act (MMFLA) and the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA) mandate the need for testing marijuana and marijuana-infused products. In Michigan, marijuana establishments that conduct laboratory testing for marijuana are widely known as safety compliance facilities.
In Michigan, safety compliance facilities are licensed to receive cannabis and collect marijuana samples from registered primary caregivers and other licensed marijuana establishments. They primarily test for contaminants in marijuana samples. Licensed marijuana safety compliance facilities also test medical marijuana samples to ensure they are free of potentially harmful levels of heavy metals, mold, residual solvents, microbes, and pesticides. The following are the test types conducted by licensed safety compliance facilities on marijuana and marijuana products in Michigan:
As stipulated in the Marijuana Sampling and Testing Rule Set R420.305(14), potency analysis is performed on marijuana products to determine the concentrations of the following:
Yes. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issues licenses to independent persons and entities to operate marijuana safety compliance facilities. However, a testing laboratory must have at least one person employed as a laboratory manager who must have a requisite degree in laboratory science or medical science to qualify for this license. Currently, Michigan has six accredited independent marijuana safety compliance facilities. These third-party marijuana testing facilities in the state operate under a body known as the Michigan Coalition of Independent Cannabis Testing Laboratories. Michigan does not have a state-run marijuana testing facility.
In Michigan, licensed marijuana safety compliance facilities must be accredited to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ISO/IEC 17025:2017 by an International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) recognized accreditation body. They may also be accredited by any other entity approved by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA). Typically, they must obtain the ISO/IEC accreditation at most one year after securing their marijuana testing license, per Rule 5(1)(a) in the Marijuana Sampling and Testing Rule Set (R 420.305(1)(a)).
Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 standards by a marijuana testing facility is proof that the facility's test results are accurate and that it has successfully implemented a quality management system. This control system includes quality procedures, corrective actions, organizational structure, and internal audits. Besides the quality management system, the auditor will review technical issues such as equipment calibration, traceability of controls, the relevance of the methods, and the validation of data. The 2017 version of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard includes the following requirements:
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency) (MRA) of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) issues marijuana safety compliance (testing) licenses to interested entities or persons in Michigan. Such persons can apply online or use paper forms to submit their applications via mail or in person. The documentation required to apply for this license include :
There are two steps involved in getting a marijuana safety compliance license in Michigan. An applicant can complete the first step before establishing the location of the proposed establishment. Generally, in Michigan, a marijuana license applicant does not need to have a business location ready before starting the application process. Anyone or entity interested in getting a marijuana safety compliance license in Michigan should take the following steps:
Step 1 - Pre-Qualification Stage
Any applicant entity intending to apply for a medical marijuana safety compliance license must complete the Applicant Entity Prequalification Application Form (AEPA) and provide the required supporting documentation. A sole proprietor must fill out the Sole Proprietor Prequalification Application Form (SPPA) 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 entity (an entity that has an ownership interest in an applicant entity) must complete the Supplemental Entity Prequalification Application Form (SEPA) and provide required supporting documentation. Filling out a Supplemental Individual Prequalification Application Form (SIPA) and providing relevant supporting documentation is required of a supplemental individual (an individual with an ownership interest in an applicant entity).
For a recreational marijuana safety compliance license, an entity, a sole proprietor, and a supplemental individual should complete the following forms while also providing the 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 meet the minimum financial requirements for a marijuana safety compliance license. The Administrative Emergency Rules controlling the marijuana licensing process in Michigan set certain minimum funding limits. Although the MRTMA is not keen on these limits, proof of financial responsibility is still essential and required. Under the MMFLA, the MRA will not issue a marijuana safety compliance license without an attestation showing that an applicant can meet up with the minimum capitalization requirement of $200,000. A minimum of 25% of this fund must be liquid to cover the initial expenses of operating the proposed marijuana establishment. The applicant must also show evidence that there is no lien on the asset used as the source of capitalization.
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. Marijuana safety compliance license applicants in Michigan can forward their completed prequalification forms and supporting documentation to the MRA via mail to:
Department of Licencing and Regulatory Affairs
Marijuana Regulatory Agency
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 284-8599
They can also 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 medical marijuana safety compliance license, applicant entities and sole proprietors that have already identified a location for their proposed marijuana facility can complete a Medical Marijuana Facility License Application Form. They should select "safety compliance facility" under the license type field on the form and provide all required documentation listed in the application form. The prospective licensee must provide proof of commercial general liability insurance covering the premises liability not later than 60 days after a safety compliance license is issued. At the qualification stage of a recreational marijuana safety compliance license application, an applicant must complete the Marijuana Establishment License Application Form and provide the required documentation listed on the 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 safety compliance license, and they can start operating legally in Michigan as a marijuana testing facility. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) provides instructions on applying for a marijuana safety compliance facility license online in Michigan.
In Michigan, an applicant for a marijuana safety compliance license pays a non-refundable application fee of $6,000 at the pre-qualification stage under both Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) and the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA). The licensure fee under the MRTMA is $25,000. For renewals, licensees pay $30,000, $25,000, and $20,000 for top, middle, and bottom tiers, respectively. The tier a licensee belongs to is determined by the number of tests they complete in a fiscal year. Tier ranking is done by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).
As contained in the Advisory Bulletin for the MMFLA regulatory assessments for the fiscal year 2021, prospective safety compliance licensees will not pay licensure fees, while existing license holders will not pay for renewals. All payments for marijuana safety compliance licenses in Michigan must be made payable to the State of Michigan. The MRA accepts payment by cash, check (cashier's check or e-check), money order, and debit card or credit card (Discover, MasterCard, Visa).
Yes. While applications for marijuana safety compliance licenses are vetted at the state level in Michigan, local authorities do have a lot of control over who stays or not. The Michigan marijuana laws allow local jurisdictions to decide if they want to permit marijuana facilities. Each city regulates and limits marijuana facilities and determines city licensing requirements for marijuana facilities by providing for local licenses, fees, and regulations. They do this to promote and protect public health and safety and mitigate the potential impacts of marijuana establishments. Also, a marijuana facility cannot operate in any municipality in Michigan if it does not comply with the municipality's zoning law.