Michigan Marijuana Growing License and Guidelines – 2020 Guide

Understanding how important it is to have a Michigan marijuana growing license and that your company is following all state guidelines is critical when your marijuana business is part of the marijuana industry in Michigan. There have been numerous changes regarding the legality of cannabis over the last 11 years. Those in the industry need to be aware and abide by those changes and current guidelines.

Cannabis growing, production, and use in Michigan are everchanging. Beginning in 2008 with caregivers, until 2019 when the original recreational marijuana dispensaries were opened. Michigan is the 10thstate government in the United States to make recreational cannabis legal. And even with the positive changes in the marijuana industry, it is still difficult to attain a Michigan license for the cultivation of marijuana as well as understand all the laws around it.

Be sure that you understand the details around obtaining a grower license to start a marijuana facility, and how to comply with Michigan law in 2020.

Marijuana Laws for Those Growing in Michigan

Having a Michigan marijuana growing license means that people are allowed to possess cannabis seeds and plants for selling if it is done using a secure transporter. They can also do sales of marijuana to a dispensary (provisioning center) and a processing person or company.

There is also a cultivation license in Michigan which has different eligibility requirements and does not need a compliant facility or secure transporter. However, having this cultivation license means that they can not possess a grower’s license too.

There is a requirement in Michigan that those who are licensed to grow must have an employee who is actively working and has a minimum of two years of experience as a primary caregiver that is registered. The licensed grower cannot also be the same registered person.

Knowing the Types of Grow Licenses Available in Michigan

There are 2 variations of commercial grow licenses that can be obtained in Michigan. Both of them have three classes based on how much of the cultivated marijuana plant is in your grow facility.

Medical Marijuana Grower:

  • 500 – Class A
  • 1000 – Class B
  • 1500 – Class C

Recreational Marijuana Grower:

  • 100 plants – Class A
  • 500 plants – Class B
  • 2000 – Class C

There is also an adult-use plan that allows for a microbusiness license. These are similar to craft breweries where they can operate in one space. As long as these smaller businesses do not violate local laws, regulations, and statutes, then they can be built. Their requirements are quite different than bigger operations.

Costs of a Grow License

Getting into the marijuana growing business is not cheap. The beginning costs of a Michigan marijuana growing license includes an application fee as well as a regulatory assessment. The fees range from $4000 to $40,000 depending on the class you’re applied for. There are also additional fees that are allowed by the MMFLA (Medical Marijuana Facilities Act). Other fees are applied pertaining to the municipality are where your cannabis growing is being done, and those can be as high as $5000.

The state application fee of $6000 charged will not be refunded if the applicant’s situation changes. These fees are used to pay the costs of the regulatory agency, the Michigan State Police, and other contract fees for services of investigation. These services are to do background checks and investigations on the license applicants.

Further to the above fees, the annual regulatory assessment for the state plays into costs. It is due before a license is issued and can change based on the type and how many licenses are applied for. Class A licenses are capped and cannot be over $10,000. B and C Class depend on how many licenses and can go from $10,000 to $66,000.

Application Requirements

Obtaining a Michigan marijuana grow license is not a short process. There are extensive documentation and processes to be followed when it comes to applying. It needs to be done properly or it is sent back for correction and clarification. Make sure everything is complete when doing the work so there are no hold-ups. It helps if you can hire an accountant, consultant, or attorney who knows the Michigan industry and how to work through each step. There are two main steps to follow:

Pre-Qualification Stage

The pre-qualification consists of a complete background check that’s done on the applicant and anyone who is also on the application. If an individual has an ownership interest, then they will be looked at thoroughly. This part of the application process will also look at the finances of those applying to make sure they have the financial ability to pay for not only the growing license they want but any additional linked costs as well. This financial search includes a look at any unexplainable source of income or undefined transactions.

License Qualification Stage

Once the pre-qualification stage is complete, then the license state starts. This is the stage where the applicant must define what particular license they need and want to apply for. Details are asked about where the facility is going to be located as well as going through the business details. A business plan needs to be in place and be very detailed to cover every factor that is required to meet standards and codes. It must include security, facility content, staffing, required technology, financial plans, and disposal of waste, along with other industry standards.

Once these applications are completed and approved, then the licensing moves forward. It will be monitored under the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). While there is no restriction on license amounts under this agency, be mindful that cities or towns where a facility is built can regulate, halt or restrict the number of cannabis businesses that are in their communities.

Final Thoughts

Getting into the marijuana growing business in Michigan can be successful if all guidelines are followed and proper licenses are obtained. While the legislation is strict, cannabis growing has a lot of market potential when everything needed is in place. The front-end work is extensive but once you are up and growing, it will be well worth that time and effort.


Andrew Lawrence

Andrew Lawrence is the Co-founder of Cannabis Stack. He is a dedicated and experienced entrepreneur, angel investor, and growth marketing professional for a wide range of businesses and clients across different industry sectors, including the Cannabis Industry.

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