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Marijuana board delays licensing decisions

flickr user Dank Depot

The state medical marijuana board has deadlocked on the first two applications for licenses.

The issue was how to deal with old criminal convictions. 

One applicant thought his marijuana conviction had been expunged from the record. In another case, the applicant had a 20-year-old misdemeanor. 

Michael Densmore says it’s all a misunderstanding. 

“I’ve had a gun permit continuously since 1999. I’ve got a liquor license, a lottery license. I’m a law-abiding citizen,” he said. “I had no idea there was anything out there like this. So, we’ll address it and take care of it.”

Tim McGraw said he didn’t think he had to disclose the marijuana possession conviction because it was supposed to be erased from his record after he completed a probation program.

Board chair Rick Johnson says members are still figuring out how to handle their responsibilities.

“I’m telling you, it’s not an easy process to go through and sort through these things,” he said.  

There are more than 400 applications pending for licenses to grow, transport, or distribute medical marijuana.

The state medical marijuana bureau also reported more than 200 cease-and-desist orders have been delivered to dispensaries that did not meet the deadline to file their applications.

Medical marijuana bureau director Andrew Brisbo says some non-complying dispensaries closed voluntarily. He says those that don’t risk prosecution.

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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