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Even the Best Laid Plans.....

Michigan Canna Coalition Helps Members Maneuver Through BMMR Licensing

Becoming a cannabis entrepreneur sounds like a great way to make a great way to make a lot of easy money, right?  It is one of the fastest growing economies, and tax revenue alone in Michigan are expected to be between $100 million to $200 million if the recreational marijuana becomes legal in Michigan in the fall.

Before you take the leap know that there are several things to think about.

The licensing processes begins with a 27-page application for each person that is going to have an interest in the business, and this before all supporting documents are added to it.  A fee of $6000 must be paid before the board begins to review your application. And be sure you have a detailed business plan to be able to present as well so that the board knows that you have the capital to keep the business running, including being able to pay out for any injuries.  As this is a cash-based business that is still illegal under the federal government you are not likely to receive financing from a bank, or maybe even be able to deposit your earnings into a bank. Insurance might be tough to get as well.

Despite all of this, you decide to jump in and have obtained capital to fund your business and submitted all of your paperwork.  As mentioned previously it is a lot of paperwork, and the board will have many applications to wade through. What does LARA suggest you do to help expedite the matter?  Andrew Brisbo, Director of LARA Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) said in an interview with Michigan Medical Marijuana Today (M3 Today).

“BMMR recommends that applicants submit their application as soon as they can so that the bureau employees can reach out to help and/or send a request notice for additional information.  The reality is that it’s almost impossible to get everything exactly as right the first time, as every application is unique. It is easy to get overwhelmed, but BMMR’s goal is to help applicant’s through the process towards qualification, not to actively disqualify people.  BMMR requests that applicants make a good faith effort to submit everything correctly and to realize that BMMT staff is prepared and trained to help make sure everything will be correct. The bureau wants to help you, not hurt you.”

May 30, 2018 a Michigan Canna Coalition Association member, A & K Enterprises, was denied prequalification status.  The reason for the denial was that Jeff Angst, co-founder of A & K Enterprises had unintentionally omitted an infraction for a minor misdemeanor marijuana possession which occurred in 1981 - 37 years ago!  

During the application review process, LARA staff reached out to Jeff who then quickly provided the details pertaining to the situation.  At the time of the hearing, LARA Bureau staff advised the BMMR Board that A & K Enterprises had fully disclosed the charge, and yet they were denied due to lack of disclosure. Additionally, another company was approved for prequalification status despite their non-disclosure of a marijuana arrest in 1969.  

What are the differences between the two here?

Michigan Canna Coalition Association (MCCA) has been closely monitoring the licensing process and has noted that there seems to be a subjective interpretation of the emergency rules, approving some applicants prequalification while denying others.  When A & K Enterprises was denied, MCCA reached out to Jeff to see how they could help. MCCA and its members are appealing the decision and hope to right the wrongs of the BMMR Board.

Reach out to Michigan Canna Coalition Association if you have questions regarding the licensing process, filling out paperwork, or questions about how to begin or grow your cannabis business


Connie Maxim-Sparrow