Michigan

Michigan Opens Up investment Opportunities in Marijuana Businesses

The Michigan Legislature passed a bill on April 11, 2019 that will open up investment opportunities in marijuana establishments. The bill will become law if it is signed by Governor Whitmer. Currently, Michigan marijuana regulators will deny a marijuana business a license if any investor discloses a prior criminal conviction or other disqualifying factor. Under the bill, Michigan marijuana regulators will only evaluate the suitability of investors that own more than 10%. Investors that own 10% or less will avoid the disclosure requirements so long as the investor does not manage or exert control over the marijuana business. The new law would ease the administrative burden faced by state regulators as they begin implementing Michigan’s recreational marketplace. The change will also bring more investors into the marijuana industry. Public companies or hedge funds can attract additional money due to the lowered standards for potential investors.

Michigan Destroys Cannabis Vape Cartridges Containing Lead and Other Heavy Metals

The Michigan Bureau of Marijuana Regulation has issued a warning that vape users are inhaling lead and other heavy metals that are leaking from e-cigarette heating coils. The BMR stated that ceramic vape cartridges do not appear to raise the same health issues. The regulators located and destroyed the contaminated products being sold in the state.

Michigan cites a study on the dangers of e-cigarettes conducted by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study indicates that chronic use of a contaminated e-cigarette can cause lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular and brain damage. The study tested the e-cigarette devices of 56 daily users, including the e-liquid and aerosol, for heavy metals. Researchers found heavy metals in aerosol produced by e-liquid heated through coils. Almost half of the samples contained lead concentrations that were higher than the health standards issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The BMR has encouraged dispensaries to test vape cartridges for heavy metals. Michigan customers may also get vape cartridges tested by going to a licensed cannabis testing facility.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

Trick question: What is the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD? (psst one is legal)

Two Michigan regulatory agencies announced in guidance that selling CBD-infused food and drinks, or as a dietary supplement, is illegal, however, using hemp seed oil to infuse food and drinks is legal. Why?

In guidance issued Friday, March 29, 2019 by the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation and the Michigan Dept of Agriculture & Rural Development, they noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD in food or beverages or as a dietary supplement. Without FDA approval, selling these products in Michigan is illegal.

Other states have issued similar guidance. Washington State noted in December that CBD infused alcohol is illegal as it must be approved by the US Tax and Trade Bureau. In August, Ohio noted in that only licensed medical dispensaries could sell CBD oil so long as it had been tested by an Ohio licensee. Michigan has similarly indicated that CBD used in edible marijuana products must be sourced from growers or processors currently licensed in the state.

This news is alarming given the vast number of CBD-infused food, beverage, and dietary supplement products that are currently in the marketplace.

Certain states, such as Maine, are trying to fix this problem by enacting legislation to clarify that products infused with CBD are not adulterated, and may be sold in that state without FDA approval. This legislation may not be able to protect nationwide distributors that engage in interstate commerce.

Hemp seed oil can be used though, as it is currently on the FDA’s list of products considered generally regarded as safe. However, since it does not contain cannabinoids, consumers may not find it as beneficial to their health.

So what would stop unscrupulous industry participants from relabeling CBD products as hemp oil? Not much. The industry is in a grey zone right now with more stringent regulation right around the corner. CBD is not yet subject to rigorous testing or labeling requirements. A CBD manufacturer can presently obtain a certificate of analysis without testing the product for cannabinoids.

CBD producers considering this route should consider the serious consequences including criminal charges, product seizures and civil fines. A greater consideration is the industry’s credibility. The industry should consider how it can mobilize, and work with the regulators to address this issue before the enforcement process begins.

Groundhog Day: Michigan Did NOT Close Unlicensed Pot Shops on March 31st

Michigan is facing another legal action over the closing of unlicensed medical marijuana facilities on March 31, 2019. For a third time, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has announced that it will hold off on the mass shut down until it receives a court order to do so. The shut down has been a long process as the impacted parties sued Michigan twice before. Michigan originally attempted to shut down the unlicensed entities on September 12, 2018. Effected parties brought an action against the state, and the court agreed to stop the shuttering process. The parties were to return to court on December 15, 2018 to continue the proceedings. Michigan then adopted emergency rules that accelerated the closure date to October 31, 2018 before another lawsuit stopped the state from enforcing this deadline.

Michigan Finally Forces Unlicensed Medical Marijuana Facilities to Close on March 31st

Michigan has issued a statement that forces the shutdown of unlicensed medical marijuana facilities by March 31, 2019. The shut down has been a long process as the impacted parties sued Michigan twice over the past six months. Michigan originally attempted to shut down the unlicensed entities on September 12, 2018. Effected parties brought an action against the state, and the court agreed to stop the shuttering process. The parties were to return to court on December 15, 2018 to continue the proceedings. Michigan then adopted emergency rules that accelerated the closure date to October 31, 2018. The emergency rules require temporary marijuana operations to cease operations on October 31st if a municipality has not authorized it to operate pursuant to an adopted local ordinance, or is in the process of adopting a local ordinance. Another series of lawsuits again stopped Michigan from forcing the closure of unlicensed medical marijuana facilities.

Now, marijuana facilities that receive a state operating license must record the beginning marijuana product inventory in the seed-to-sale tracking system, test the product prior to sending to dispensaries, and for untested inventory, dispensaries must obtain a certification from the patient or primary caregiver that the product has not been tested.

Michigan Allows Uncapped Royalty Fees for Cannabis IP


The Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Authority issued a statement informing medical marijuana facilities they may enter into licensing agreements for another company's intellectual property including brands or recipes. The license agreement may include a royalty fee for each unit sold. Michigan's approach is a bit hands-off compared to other states that view license agreements as a side door approach to avoiding licensing requirements.  Washington State currently has a bill that would place a 10% cap on licensing fees to prevent this risk. Parties entering into the licensing agreement should consider the impact of a a subsequent change in Michigan law. As Michigan’s regulatory framework matures, it too could decide to cap royalty fees in order to retain tighter control over licensees.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

Free Cannabis Legislative Tracker For 20 States: Access THC, Hemp And CBD Bills

Access our free legislative trackers for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. Review and access the cannabis & hemp bills introduced by the State Legislatures in the 2019-2020 session. The trackers include a summary description of the legislation, status and link to the full legislative text. The legislative trackers will be updated on a weekly basis.

Cannabis Regulatory Meeting Tracker 03/04/2019: 15 Meetings Today in California, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah

There are fifteen (15) meetings today in California, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah. The big meeting today is in Colorado. Colorado’s House Finance Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that will allow publicly traded companies to own licensed cannabis companies.

California: City Of San Rafael: Authorizing Cannabis Businesses
California: West Hollywood: Ordinance Related To Temporary Cannabis Uses
Colorado Legislature: House Finance: HB19-1090: Publicly Licensed Marijuana Companies
Colorado: Denver Special Issues Marijuana
Nevada Legislature: Senate Health And Human Services: SB228 Revises Provisions Relating To Marijuana And Industrial Hemp. (BDR 54-180)
Massachusetts: Lowell Planning Board Site Plan Review: Marijuana Cultivation Facility
Massachusetts: City Of Lunenburg: Recreational Marijuana Regulations
Massachusetts: City Of Northampton: Community Outreach Meeting: Marijuana Product Manufacturer
Michigan: Village Of Douglas: Amendments To Medical Marihuana Regulations Related To Camera Storage
Michigan: City Of Reed: Proposed Ordinance To Prohibit Marihuana Establishments
North Dakota Legislature: Senate Agriculture: SB 2184 Relating To The Definition Of Allied Health Care Professional And Health Care Provider With Respect To Workers' Compensation Claims And Benefits.
Pennsylvania: Manor Township: Ordinance On Marijuana Possession
Pennsylvania: City Of Philadelphia: Referenda On Adult Use Cannabis Legalization
Utah Legislature: House Business And Labor Committee: SCR007 - Concurrent Resolution Urging Legal Medical Cannabis Banking
Utah Legislature: House Health And Human Services Committee: SB0161S03 - Medical Cannabis Act Amendments