First 9 medical marijuana businesses OK'd toward licensure in Michigan

LANSING — Michigan regulators have allowed the first marijuana businesses to start the process toward being licensed to operate in the newly regulated and taxed industry.

The Medical Marihuana Licensing Board took the first step Thursday toward qualifying the applications of nine businesses and turned down two. The applicants need physical locations and community approval to proceed.

Initial licenses to grow, process, sell, transport or test marijuana will be issued by June 15. Some have expressed concerns the process isn’t moving quickly enough.

The state began accepting applications in December and 470 individuals or companies have applied.

A 2016 law aimed to address confusion surrounding the legality of dispensary shops that opened after voters in 2008 authorized marijuana for medical use. The new law includes a 3 percent tax on provisioning centers.

According to The Detroit News, pre-approved applicants include three Ann Arbor businesses owned by James Daly and Brian Doelle, who are seeking licensure to grow up to 500 marijuana plants through a company called Arbor Farms, process the drug at Arbor Kitchen and sell to patients at a Cannarbor dispensary less than a half-mile from the University of Michigan.

Other metro Detroit business pre-approved Thursday include a planned ABKO Labs safety testing facility in Troy; Motas Inc., a secure transporter based in Hazel Park; an Herben Legends dispensary in Southfield; and a Pure Green processing facility in Inkster, The News reported.

The others were in Portage and Muskegon.

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