By: Melissa Chapaska
Beginning on December 15, 2017, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will begin accepting applications for growers, processors, transporters, provisioning centers, and safety compliance facilities (aka testing laboratories). While there is no deadline for submission of the applications, applicants should consider applying sooner rather than later to ensure they do not miss their opportunity to join Michigan’s growing marijuana industry.
Of particular interest to our science-focused followers is Michigan’s license for Safety Compliance Facilities, which permits the laboratory facility to perform marijuana testing for growers and processors to ensure safe, effective product for patients.
All applicants need to comply with the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation’s two-step process. This process allows applicants to begin the application process while still seeking a location for the proposed marihuana facility. Applicants with identified proposed locations may also submit step one and step two materials at the same time.
The first step in the application process is “prequalification.” This first step encompasses a full background investigation of the applicant. The entity or individual license will complete the Entity/Individual Prequalification Packet (EIPP). All other individuals or entities identified by the entity or individual filing the EIPP will be required to complete the Supplemental Applicant Prequalification Packet (SAPP).
The second step is “license qualification.” During this step, applicants are required to provide information specific to the physical location of the proposed facility, including proof that the municipality where the licensee intends to operate has enacted an ordinance authorizing marijuana facilities.
After license qualification is completed, the Bureau will present the completed application to the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (MMLB). Upon approval by the MMLB, an applicant will be required to pay a regulatory assessment for the license. Once the regulatory assessment is received, the licenses will be issued.
Michigan medical marijuana facilities are subject to application fees, as well as annual regulatory assessment fees.
The application fee is a non-refundable, state-level fee paid at the time of filing to defray the costs associated with the background investigations and fingerprint processing. The application fee – which must be submitted before the application can be processed – is $6,000
In addition, licensed medical marijuana facilities will be subject to an annual regulatory assessment fee. The annual regulatory assessment is a nonrefundable, state-level fee which offsets LARA’s annual operational costs to implement, administer, and enforce the MMFLA as well as the expenses of medical marihuana-related services provided by the Attorney General, the State Police, and Treasury. The regulatory assessment also covers support costs of the statewide monitoring system and provides $500,000 annually toward licensing substance abuse disorder programs, as required by statute. The regulatory assessment must be submitted before a license can be issued.
The specific analytical testing methodologies required for Michigan safety compliance facilities are outlined by Rule 31. Additionally, Rule 31 highlights the quality assurance tests, including pesticide, terpene, and potency analyses, that a safety compliance facility is required to perform. In order for a proposed safety compliance facility to establish its capacity to operate, the entity will need to provide detailed information on how it intends to meet the state’s testing regulations through detailed Standard Operating Procedures and security plans.
While the state has not set a deadline for applications, applicants are encouraged to apply early so that they are licensed and accredited in time to serve the new grower and processor entities entering Michigan’s medical marijuana industry.
If you are a new or established laboratory preparing to apply for Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Safety Compliance Facility license, be sure to contact us for more information on how an experienced consultant can help you prepare a comprehensive application package addressing Michigan’s state-specific requirements.
Cannabis Law PA is experienced in providing thorough, effective, and complete consulting services for medical marijuana testing facilities, including complex application drafting in multiple states.