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State to start accepting marijuana license applications

Medical Marijuana
Troy Holden
flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM
Medical Marijuana

The state accepts the first applications for people who want to get into the medical marijuana business starting tomorrow. The licenses will allow businesses to legally grow, process, transport, or sell marijuana to patients who have medical marijuana cards. 

David Harnz works for the Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board.  He says it will take three or four months to process the applications.

“The department will go through them and make sure everything’s in order, and then the investigations will start happening, the background checks and those types of things," said Harnz. "Once we get to the end and everything’s in order, we’ll present it to the board for approval or denial.” 

Harnz says existing dispensaries will not have to shut down while their applications are processed. But he says there’s no guarantee they’ll be issued a license to operate by the board.

“It’s going to make the medical marijuana industry here much safer," he said. "There will be checks and balances throughout the process. Each medical marijuana product that goes to sale will be tested at least twice.”

License-seekers will have to pass a background check, and show they have finances and a business plan. Harns says the board expects to issue the first licenses in April. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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