Michigan accepts first recreational marijuana applications

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Michigan’s marijuana landscape is changing. As of midnight on Friday, the state started accepting applications for recreational marijuana businesses.

Marijuana Regulatory Agency spokesman David Harns said the first application was submitted at 12:17 a.m. and by 1:00 a.m. the first business to be pre-qualified is listed as Exclusive Brands in Ann Arbor. As of noon on Friday, 14 applications had been submitted, with 11 of them being pre-qualified, and three of those have been approved to move on to the second in the 2 step process. The applicants then have to get approval from the municipalities where they are located.

Harns said there have been no issues with website. His team came in at 10 p.m. Thursday and stayed through 2 a.m. Friday to make sure the first applicants were able to submit successfully.

The two medically licensed marijuana provisioning centers in the Upper Peninsula are Northern Specialty Health in Houghton and The Fire Station in Negaunee Township.

Ryan Salani with Northern Specialty Health said they plan on applying for their adult use license, but are waiting on a decision from the City of Houghton. If allowed to apply, Salani estimated it could be February or March before they could begin selling Marijuana for recreational use.

A representative from the City of Houghton said the planning commission is reviewing an ordinance. They have asked for some changes to the initial wording. Those changes may not be up for review again until the commission’s December 17th meeting.

The Fire Station in Negaunee says it also plans on applying to sell recreational marijuana, but are waiting on the township planning commission before submitting for its license. A representative from the commission was not available on Friday to comment on when a decision could be made.

While there is no limit to how many licenses the state can issue, individual municipalities can put a cap on how many businesses they allow to open.

Another issue facing potential customers and business owners is supply. Both Northern Specialty Supply and The Fire Station agreed that having more growers and labs in the Upper Peninsula would help keep costs low.

As of Friday, marijuana designated for medicinal use may not be sold for recreation. David Harns with the MRA said the idea is to make sure patients are taken care of first and they don’t want to keep supply from people with medical cards.

You can learn more about the application process and find licensed marijuana businesses near you by going to the Marijuana Regulartory Agency’s website.

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