Breaking Down Michigan’s Marijuana License Application Requirements

Two Updates for January 2021:

New Michigan advisory bulletins update application eligibility.

Beginning March 1, 2021, an applicant is no longer required to hold an active MMFLA license to be eligible for the following adult-use licenses: Marijuana Retailer, Marijuana Processor, Class B Marijuana Grower, Class C Marijuana Grower, and Marijuana Secure Transporter.


At the local level, Detroit announced local adult-use application details on January 19:

The Detroit Legacy Certification application process opened on January 19.

Application and Review Periods:

  • Detroit Legacy applicants: Application period April 1 – April 30, 2021. Review begins May 1, 2020.
  • General applicants with existing medical marijuana license: Application period April 1 – April 30, 2021. Review begins June 16, 2021
  • General applicants without existing medical marijuana license: Application period April 1 – ongoing. Review begins August 1, 2021.

Learn more about the Detroit applications.

Thursday, April 30, 2020, marked the one-year anniversary of Michigan’s establishment of the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) within their Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), which centralized the regulation of medical and adult-use markets under one agency. 

Cannabis businesses that operated in Michigan before the new state-regulated program was established were phased out this year and all operators must now have a license from the MRA.

Application requirements:

Two-step application process at the state level, plus a separate application at the local level.


State Level: Step 1

The initial state-level application consists of background checks and application fees. 

State Level: Step 2

The second step requires the vetting of business specifications, such as proof of financial responsibility, municipality information, social equity plan, and general employee information. The facility must pass a physical inspection within 60 days of the applicant submitting step 2. 

State Level Timelines, in Two Phases:

Before December 2021, these five license types:

Class A Grower, Microbusiness, Designated Consumption Establishment, Safety Compliance Facility, and event licenses. For all other license types, applicants must already hold a medical marijuana license to apply at the state level. 

As of December 6, 2021, these remaining license types: 

Class B & C Growers, Excess Grower, Processor, Retailer, Secure Transporter. 


Municipalities can determine which licenses and activities are allowed in their jurisdiction and can set their own application process and deadlines.

The state of Michigan provides “unofficial” lists of which municipalities have opted in or opted out of the marijuana market. 

Local applications require:

  1.  Incorporation of all levels of state law: statutes, regulations, and local ordinances
  2.  Specific business details in a range of categories from security and human resources planning to sustainable building materials and stormwater management. 


Quick overview of the Michigan state marijuana application process:


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