Michigan Cannabis Market
Adapting to a State-Regulated System
While cannabis businesses operated in Michigan before the new state-regulated program was established in April 2019, prior operations were phased out this year.
All operators must now have a license from The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) which regulates both medical and adult-use markets.
Michigan’s convoluted licensing system requires a two-step application process at the state level, plus a separate application at the local level.
New market entrants may apply at the state-level 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.
Local-level licensing is open in some areas and varies across the state:
Municipalities can determine which licenses and activities are allowed in their jurisdiction and can set their own application process and deadlines.
This variety of licensing requirements across the state complicates the process, especially for businesses applying in multiple localities. The state of Michigan provides “unofficial” lists of which municipalities have opted in or opted out of the marijuana market.
Learn more about Michigan’s marijuana license application requirements.
Contact our expert team of cannabis advisors today to get started with your cannabis business in Michigan!
Cannabis Business Guidance in Michigan
In the medical marijuana market, application and licensing costs will be a challenge for some existing cultivators and dispensaries, which provides an opportunity for new entrants with the financial strength to operate in a regulated market.
With no statewide limits on the number of licenses, the largest medical patient base in the U.S., and the addition of an adult-use market, Michigan is brimming with opportunities for new business development.
Market Conditions in Michigan
Michigan already has the largest medical patient base in the U.S. In fact, the patient base is two times the patient count that Colorado had before medical was legalized in 2010. With more than 283,000 registered patients, rapid growth, and good qualifying conditions for medical patients, entrepreneurs and business operators face strong demand. Positive market conditions are bolstered by a diverse population and need for economic infusion.
Strong growth projections are tempered by heavy business regulations, strict operating procedures, and professional staffing requirements. Risks include local zoning laws, changes to local regulations, and additional testing requirements that can suddenly put an existing operation out of business if not properly addressed.
Michigan Cannabis Industry Projections
Registered medical marijuana patients (2019)
Compounded annual growth rate
Source: "The State of Legal Marijuana Markets" by Arcview Market Research/BDS Analytics, 7th Edition.
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