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 have now been phased out.

All operators must now have a license from The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) which regulates both medical and adult-use markets. The agency began accepting applications from any applicant for all license types beginning on March 1, 2021. The applicant is no longer required to hold an active MMFLA license to be eligible for adult-use licenses for Marijuana Retailer, Marijuana Processor, Class B Grower, Class C Grower, or Secure Transporter.

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. 

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. Though many municipalities have already been through their first round of licensing, places like Detroit are opening a second (of a planned 3) 30-day application window in late 2023, early 2024. 

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. 


Our expert team of attorneys, technical writers, and subject matter experts can write or review your state or local application and help you with early business development and planning stages.

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.

Read our insights about Cannabis in Michigan

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)

Spending Forecast

Compounded annual growth rate

Source: "The State of Legal Marijuana Markets" by Arcview Market Research/BDS Analytics, 7th Edition.

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