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Marijuana Regulatory Agency Holds First Public Meeting

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-335-LARA (5272)

June 13, 2019 – The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) held its first public meeting this morning at the Williams Building in Lansing. Executive Director Andrew Brisbo kicked off the meeting by stressing his Agency’s commitment to outreach, education and collaboration. Brisbo also announced that the next three scheduled public meetings of the MRA will coincide with work groups and will be held at locations around the state:

  • August 29, 2019 in Detroit
  • October 28, 2019 in Traverse City
  • December 9, 2019 in Flint

Further information will be announced later, including addresses and how to apply to participate in the workgroup sessions.

Following Brisbo, Krista Moorman and Lindsay Russman, managers of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program Section, discussed the MRA’s updated approach to the 2008 patient/caregiver law, including the new online certification, the petition process, and the physician certification process. As of June 1, 2019, Michigan has 287,094 active patients (477 are minors) and 40,120 active caregivers.

Sara Hernandez, manager of the MRA IT Section, discussed the MRA’s integration with METRC, the statewide monitoring system, and with NCS Analytics to provide MRA with comprehensive, data-driven solutions that aggregate, analyze and report information about the METRC transactions. This information is used for licensing and enforcement purposes. 

Licensing Division Director Desmond Mitchell gave an overview of his division. In order to better serve the public, the Licensing Division has recently been restructured into three sections: Intake, Medical, and Adult-Use. Mitchell’s division is currently reviewing their processes to increase efficiency, decrease processing times, and improve customer service. There have been 173 pre-qualifications and 40 state operating licenses processed since the MRA was formed on April 30, 2019. This is, on average, a 122% increase in pre-qualifications and a 100% increase in state operating licenses, as compared to the previous seven months.

Kristie Jordan, the Medical Facilities Licensing Section manager, explained the changes that are being made to the medical marijuana application and discussed best practices for those applying to the MRA for licensure.

Jennifer Piggott, the Adult-Use Licensing Section manager, discussed the creation of the new adult-use section. Adult-use Emergency Rules are expected to be released later this month followed by the adult-use application packet later this summer. Piggott expects her section to begin accepting adult-use applications this fall and intends to post instructional and informative materials on the website between now and then in order to help potential licensees prepare for the application process. The MRA anticipates instituting a modified process to fast-track existing medical licensees into the adult-use market

Michella Marshall, the Application Intake Section manager, discussed the goal of her team – delivering a quality customer service experience to the public. Moving forward, Marshall’s team will expand their focus to include the implementation of the social equity program currently being developed as required by the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). The social equity program will have a dedicated team of representatives committed to providing information and delivering resources to communities and applicants on the social equity platform.

Enforcement Division Director Kavita Kale gave an overview of her division and her team’s goal – to assist licensees in maintaining compliance while operating successfully under the state’s marijuana laws. Kale also introduced the MRA’s two laboratory scientist specialists – Allyson Chirio and Claire Patterson – as points of contact to help review and work through questions and concerns related to Licensed Safety Compliance Facilities, sampling, and testing.

Brian Hanna, the Enforcement Section manager, discussed his team’s responsibilities: inspections and investigations, including any changes or modifications to marijuana facilities. Hanna reminded the public that his team has created an online map that shows all active marijuana facilities in the state. Hanna also reminded applicants and licensees that they are required to notify the MRA within one business day if they become aware of any adverse reactions to a marijuana product.

Colleen Curtis, the Legal Section manager, discussed the MRA’s approach to the administrative rules, hearings, and grants. Curtis explained that once the emergency rules for adult-use marijuana are in place, the MRA plans to immediately start work on the adult-use permanent rules. The MRA’s intention is to re-open the medical marijuana rules at the same time in order to move to a topic-based rules approach for both MRTMA and MMFLA.

Following the staff presentations, the directors of the Marijuana Regulatory Agency received comment from 17 members of the public.

As of today, there are 202 active state operating licenses in the medical marijuana industry – licensees which have received agency approval, have paid their regulatory assessment, and have received their physical license. Here is an interactive map that shows the location of all active licenses; this map was last updated on 6/12/19 at 5:00pm and is updated at the end of each business day. The business information for each of the licensees can be found here.

The 202 licenses issued and active as of 5:00pm on 6/12/19 break down as follows:

  • Grower A (7)
  • Grower B (1)
  • Grower C (67)
  • Processor (12)
  • Provisioning Center (102)
  • Safety Compliance Facility (6)
  • Secure Transporter (7)

Twelve licensed Provisioning Centers have been granted approval for medical marijuana home delivery:

  • MPM-R Flint (Flint)
  • HG Lansing (Lansing)
  • Pharmaco (Schaefer Highway in Detroit)
  • Pharmaco (Bay City)
  • Lake Effect Group (Portage)
  • Clark Street Investment Group (Detroit)
  • Pharmaco (Dwyer Street in Detroit)
  • Pharmaco (Battle Creek)
  • Utopia Gardens (Detroit)
  • BotaniQ (Detroit)
  • Green House of Walled Lake (Walled Lake)
  • Amazing Budz (Adrian)

The MRA is required to hold at least four public meetings each calendar year for the purpose of hearing complaints and receiving the views of the public regarding the administration of the authorities, powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities vested in the Agency. The purpose of the public hearings is to receive public comment on the MRA’s administration of the following statutes:

  • Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (2008)
  • Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (2016)
  • Marihuana Tracking Act (2016)
  • Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (2018)

MRA Leadership

L-R Lindsay Russman, Colleen Curtis, Krista Moorman, Andrew Brisbo, Sara Hernandez, Kristie Jordan, Desmond Mitchell, Jennifer Piggott, Michella Marshall, Kavita Kale, Brian Hanna