The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is allowing unlicensed medical cannabis dispensaries to remain open until Sept. 15 without risking future licensing eligibility. Operators had faced a June 15 deadline; however, regulators have been slow in issuing licenses under the new regime approved by lawmakers in 2016.

According to LARA, the extension allows the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board “enough time to investigate and authorize facility operator licenses in order to make sure that access to medical marihuana is maintained.”

“Extending the deadline to September 15th will make sure that this law is implemented correctly and assure that potential licensees are thoroughly reviewed. It is important that we ensure that medical marihuana patients have continued access to their medicine.” – LARA Director Shelly Edgerton, in a press release

Potential operators were required to turn in their state application by Feb 15. The licensing board said they had received more than 500 applications by the deadline and 141 of those were complete, while 411 still required municipality approval. In March, LARA sent more than 200 cease-and-desist letters to medical cannabis operators – 159 of them to businesses in Detroit.

The extension was included in emergency rules for the medical cannabis program approved by Gov. Rick Snyder yesterday. Those rules will remain in effect for six months.

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