Judge Halts Michigan Medical Marijuana License Deadline Yet Again

Judge Halts Michigan Medical Marijuana License Deadline Yet Again

More than 200 dispensaries may need to shut down, depending on the outcome of a lawsuit against the state.

October 31, 2018

A Michigan judge has once again halted the state’s self-imposed deadline to issue licenses to medical marijuana businesses. The Oct. 31 deadline, now lifted, was expected to force more than 200 dispensaries to close across the state.

The state had complied with a similar court order, which extended a Sept. 15 deadline.

Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borello’s temporary restraining order this week will allow those businesses to continue operating for the time being, even without a formal license to do so. The judge called the Oct. 31 licensing deadline “arbitrary and capricious.”

Borello will provide an update to the case on Nov. 9. The lead plaintiff is First Class Inc., a Lansing-based business with local approval for a processing facility (but no state approval yet). “These facilities will be forced to close their doors without any good reason, and they face the very real risk that they will not be able to reopen at all, even if their applications are approved by [the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)] at some point in the future,” the business stated via its lawsuit against the state of Michigan.

LARA’s medical marijuana licensing board will meet Nov. 8, and some license approvals are expected. Hundreds of applications, all told, from every category of cannabis business, await word from LARA. So far, 64 medical marijuana licenses, including 37 dispensaries, have been approved by the state since the application deadline of Feb. 15. The state initially received 804 applications.

Top photo courtesy of Adobe Stock