Why did five defunct dispensaries get cease and desist letters?

GAYLORD — Five former dispensaries in Gaylord received cease and desist letters from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The only problem — many of them seem to have ceased and desisted long ago.

David Harns, spokesperson for LARA, said those cease and desist letters came as a result of the emergency rules passed in December, regulating the transition between the previous medical marijuana laws in the state and the new Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA).

“Basically, the emergency rules back in December allowed for temporary operation with local authorization for medical marijuana facilities who were already open at that time,” Harns said.

Those facilities had until Feb. 15 to apply for a new license. If they applied, the state would not count their previous activities as an impediment to their license. However, if they didn’t apply, they would be asked to stop their operations.

But the City of Gaylord opted out of the licensing act in February, meaning no former dispensary operators even had the option of applying for a new license.

So, last week, five former local dispensaries — and 203 others statewide — got notices from LARA to stop “any activity in violation of … the MMFLA,” and that “failure to comply with this notice may result in the denial of a license; referral to local, state, or federal law enforcement,” or other penalties.

Those former dispensaries were Compassionate Caregivers, Gaylord Provisions, Natural Remedies, Superior Green Collective and AllWell Natural Health.

But “that’s a very old list,” Veronica James of AllWell Natural Health, said.

Of those five, AllWell, located at 845 S. Otsego Ave., seems to be the only business still in operation, and its owners

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