Cannabis POS software to streamline Michigan dispensaries
Table of contents
Timeline of Marijuana Legalization in Michigan
2008: The state passed the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and implemented a new sales system for medical marijuana.
2018: Recreational cannabis became legal in November 2018 when voters approved the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.
Michigan Cannabis Laws
To avoid penalties, police investigations, or license suspension, you must ensure that all dispensary operations are in compliance with Michigan cannabis laws Let’s examine the most important regulations to keep in mind.
Patients must be 21 years of age or older to purchase, possess, and consume recreational marijuana. To access medical marijuana, you must have a state-approved medical marijuana patient card. Patients qualifying for this card are the ones with “debilitating medical conditions” diagnosed by a physician. The list of such conditions includes:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Nail Patella
- Severe & Chronic Pain
- Severe Nausea
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Severe & Persistent Muscle Spasms
- Any other medical conditions approved by the Department of Community Health
You must obtain a written certification from your physician that you have one or some of these conditions and that you will get therapeutic benefits from using medical marijuana to treat these symptoms.
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Dispensary Design Requirements
Licensed dispensaries cannot be located in exclusively residential areas and must be at least 1000 feet away from K-12 schools. To meet this requirement, you need to measure a straight line from the school entrance to the closest point of the dispensary.
Distance requirements can be different if local municipalities decide to reduce them or add other conditions.
Dispensaries can sell both medical and adult-use recreational marijuana in one place, but they must be physically separated inside the store.
The BFS (Bureau of fire services) may require obtaining operational permits, such as:
- Carbon dioxide systems
- Compressed gases
- Combustible fibers
- Flammable and combustible liquids
- Fumigation and insecticidal fogging
- Hazardous materials
- High piled storage
- Liquefied petroleum gas
The BFS may require obtaining construction permits, such as:
- Building construction
- Electrical, mechanical, plumbing, boiler, and elevator
- Compressed gases
- Flammable and combustible liquids
- Hazardous materials
- Liquefied petroleum gas
- Automatic fire extinguishing/suppression systems
- Fire alarm and detections systems
- Related equipment found during fire safety inspections
There are also some security measures to take into account:
- Submit a security plan
- Make sure all rooms, windows, and points of entry and exits can be securely locked with commercial-grade, nonresidential door locks or another electronic access
- Install an alarm system
- Obtain a video surveillance system
A registered patient can get a 60-day supply of medical cannabis from any state-licensed dispensary. This supply is limited to 10 ounces. However, a certifying health care provider can specify more on the patient’s certificate.
A qualifying patient with a 14-day temporary registration can purchase up to 2.5 ounces as a 14-day supply. However, a certifying health care provider can specify more on the patient’s certificate.
A retail customer is prohibited from buying more than 1 ounce of marijuana per day, as well as its combined dry weight equivalent in edible marijuana products or marijuana concentrate.
1 ounce of marijuana flower shall be equivalent to 5 grams of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana concentrate. Including, but not limited to, tinctures. 1 ounce of marijuana flower shall be equivalent to 500 milligrams of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in edible marijuana products. There shall be no limits to daily sales of ointments and topicals.
You must seal and label any container, bag, or product with marijuana before selling or transferring it to or by a marijuana sales location. The label must include the following information:
- The name of the producer
- The state license number of the producer
- Business or trade name of the producer
- Tag and source number assigned by the statewide monitoring system
- The name, marijuana license number, and business or trade name of the licensee that packaged the product (if it is different from the producer)
- The unique identification number for the harvest or the package (if applicable)
- Date of the harvest (if applicable)
- Name of the strain (if applicable)
- Net weight in US customary and metric units
- The concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) as reported by the laboratory after potency testing
- A statement that the actual value of the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) may vary from the reported value by 10%
- Activation time expressed through a pictogram or in words
- Name of the laboratory that performed any tests
- Any test analysis date
- The universal symbol for marijuana products published on the agency’s website
- A warning text
The label of edible marijuana products shall include the following information:
- The product name
- The product ingredients
- The product net weight/volume
- List of allergens
- Appropriate labeling if any health or nutritional claim was made
Keep in mind that edible marijuana product packages shall not display any shapes or labels that can be appealing to minors. Make sure these products are not associated with toys, cartoon characters, caricatures, designs, or packaging appealing to minors.
Please remember that edible marijuana products shall not be confused with commercially sold candy. It’s also prohibited to use the word candy or candies on the packaging or labeling. As for their shape, edible marijuana products shall not be in the form of a human, fruit, or animal, or a shape that has some characteristics of a fictional or realistic human, fruit, or animal. Geometrically shaped and fruit-flavored edible marijuana products are permitted.
In Michigan, edible marijuana products require opaque, child-resistant packages or containers. Such packages and containers shall meet the effectiveness specifications outlined in 16 CFR 1700.15. If an edible marijuana product contains more than one serving, it must be in a resealable package or container that meets the effectiveness specifications outlined in 16 CFR 1700.15.
All shelf-stable edible marijuana products shall have labels with the information on their product expiration date. A licensee shall not change the label with an expiration date once it has been affixed to the product or replace it with another label having a later expiration date.
Seed-to-Sale Tracking and Metrc
Seed-to-Sale tracking implies tracking a marijuana plant from the moment it has been planted until its sale. Using the statewide monitoring system to collect and report all data on each plant is your number one priority to remain compliant.
In Michigan, the compliance information includes:
- Seed or clone purchase
- Germination dates
- Planting and harvest dates
- Strains and batch numbers
- Harvest batch numbers
- Testing records
- The contact information of all the cannabis business owners you worked with
It is mandatory for all Michigan cannabis businesses to take part in Metrc training. Any error in the track and trace system must be discovered and corrected at once.
Michigan cannabis retailers are allowed to sell between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., based on local ordinances. For example, Detroit allows sales until 10 p.m., but in Ann Arbor, it is only until 9 p.m.
Marijuana deliveries must occur within the business hours of each marijuana sales location.
For the delivery of marijuana or marijuana products, you must ensure your drivers meet the following requirements:
- They must be employees of your retail establishment.
- They must be licensed.
- They must be 21 years old or older.
- They cannot carry more than 15 ounces of marijuana or more than 60 grams of marijuana concentrate at any time.
- Their cars must have GPS locators.
- Their cars must have an alarm system.
- They can ensure that any product is secured inside the vehicle if left unattended.
- They cannot be employed by more than one delivery service or dispensary.
- They may only make up to 10 deliveries before being required to go back to the dispensary before any further deliveries.
- They must make deliveries to either a residential address or a previously state-approved place for marijuana consumption.
- They must have a copy of the following information: their identification number, the marijuana retailer license number, the address and contact information of the marijuana retailer licensee, and a copy of the marijuana delivery log.
- They must have a secure means of communication with the marijuana retail licensee (a cell phone, for instance).
- They must have a physical or electronic copy of the delivery request during the delivery.
- They must be able to show a copy of the delivery request to the MRA, if needed.
- They must ensure that the retailer is able to identify their location during deliveries.
- They must be able to provide their location information to the MRA upon request.
- They must travel only from the marijuana retailer’s licensed establishment to the delivery addresses and back to the retailer.
- Any emergency must be reported to the marijuana retailer and documented on the delivery log.
- They may refuel a vehicle, and it must be reported and documented on the delivery log.
- During deliveries, they must not have a marijuana product valued in excess of the amount of the customer’s delivery of the marijuana product at any time.
- Marijuana products must be stored in a secured compartment and must be packaged separately for each delivery order.
- All orders must be clearly marked and latched or locked to secure all contents properly.
Make sure the following information is always available to the MRA upon request:
- Make, model, and color of any vehicle used for delivery
- Vehicle identification number
- License plate number
- Vehicle registration
- Confirmation that the customer presented their valid driver’s license or government-issued ID with a photo verifying they are 21 years old or older
- Validation that the address for delivery is the residential address or at the address of a designated consumption establishment
- Documentation that the customer has consented to the delivery of the marijuana product
Keep in mind the following product transportation regulations:
- Delivery starts when the delivery employee leaves the retailer with the marijuana product.
- Delivery ends when the employee returns to the retailer after delivering the marijuana product.
- All transactions must be completed in one business day.
- All deliveries must be performed within the business hours of the retailer.
- All money collected during the delivery process must be returned to the retailer.
- The retailer must keep records for each delivery of marijuana products in a delivery log (a hard copy or electronic format).
- The retailer must make the delivery log available to the MRA upon request.
For each delivery, the delivery log must record:
- Date and time the delivery started and ended
- Name of the delivery employee
- Amount of marijuana product allowed to be possessed for delivery
- Lot number of the marijuana product
- The strain of the marijuana product
- Signature of the customer who received the delivery
- Any deviation made to the manifest
If there is any theft, loss of marijuana product, or criminal activity, the retailer must notify the MRA, state police, or local law enforcement.
In Michigan, where both medical and recreational marijuana are legal, various license types are available for use. The purposes of medical and recreational marijuana are different, so the licenses are also treated differently. For this reason, you need to be aware of every single detail to stay compliant and operate a successful dispensary.
There are 5 types of medical marijuana licenses:
- Cultivation and growing
Cultivation licenses come in 3 classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A growers can grow up to 500 plants, Class B growers are allowed to grow up to 1000 plants, and Class C growers are authorized to grow up to 1500 plants. Class C growers must have $500000 in assets per license that they have.
Growing licenses allow companies to sell marijuana products to a provisioning center or a processor. Growers are authorized to cultivate, dry, trim, cure, and package marijuana to sell it to processing or provisioning centers. A grower cannot be a licensed caregiver.
- Extraction and processing
With this license, you are authorized to process, package, possess, and store marijuana. You are also allowed to sell, purchase, and transfer marijuana from other state-licensed entities.
- Provisioning centers (also known as dispensaries)
This license allows you to purchase or transfer marijuana only from a processor or grower and transfer/sell it to registered patients or primary caregivers. The license authorizes you to transfer marijuana to and from a safety compliance facility for testing. However, you must obtain marijuana products only from a state-licensed corporate grower or processor – you are not allowed to get them from state-approved caregivers. Please note that there is a limited number of provisioning centers allowed in each city in Michigan.
- Safety compliance laboratories
You are authorized to receive marijuana and pick up marijuana samples from other licensed facilities or registered primary caregivers. Afterwards, all test results and marijuana products must be returned to the marijuana facilities.
- Secure transporters
With this license, you are allowed to transport marijuana between different facilities, but not to patients or caregivers.
You must complete each delivery within 48 hours, ensuring that all marijuana products are in locked containers while being delivered. All transactions must enter a statewide tracking system, and all records and route plans must be available for inspection. You are also required to have general and product liability insurance.
Recreational marijuana licenses are similar to medical ones, though they can vary based on facility and class type. Recreational license holders are not required to meet a capital threshold, but they must possess a medical facility license for the first two years.
There are six main types of recreational marijuana licenses:
- Recreational marijuana cultivation
These licenses come in 3 classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A growers can grow up to 100 plants, Class B growers are allowed to grow up to 500 plants, and Class C growers are authorized to grow up to 2000 plants. If you want, you can obtain an excess marijuana grower license. With it, you can hold 5 stacked class C marijuana licenses.
- Safety compliance facilities and secure transporters
The same regulations apply both for medical and recreational marijuana products.
- Designated consumption establishments
You are authorized to permit adults 21 years old and older to consume marijuana products at the location. If you want to have host consumption onsite, you must apply for this license with the city and the state. You are prohibited from selling or distributing marijuana there.
You are licensed to cultivate, process, and sell products from up to 150 plants. You can do it only in-house. You are allowed to package and sell marijuana plants to adults over 21.
You cannot transfer or sell products to marijuana establishments, have more than one storefront, and obtain more than one license type.
- Marijuana event organizer (or temporary marijuana event)
You must hold an event only at the location and on the date indicated on the license.
- Marijuana retailer
You are licensed to get marijuana from marijuana processors or cultivators and sell it to adults over 21.
To obtain a license, please note the following:
- The licensing process consists of 2 steps: the prequalification and the final licensure.
- All main and supplemental applicants must become prequalified with the state after filling out Part One of the application process.
- There is a mandatory background check for all applicants.
- If you are the main applicant, there is a $6000 nonrefundable application fee. You must submit your application fee payment only after all supplemental applications have been submitted. If you do it before submitting all supplemental applications, you will receive a notice of deficiency. At this point, you will have five days to submit all supplemental applications, or your application might be denied.
- If you are a supplemental applicant, there is no application fee.
- After completing the first step, you must purchase or lease a premise, obtain approval from the municipality, and complete their full construction buildout.
- If you are a supplemental applicant, you are not required to complete this step.
- You must pass an MRA-approved inspection within 60 days of submission of the application. They will check your business specifications, municipality information, proof of financial responsibility, and general employee information.
- If you want to get a license as a microbusiness, grower, or processor, you must pass a Bureau of Fire Services plan review. You can be issued a state license only if you meet all the requirements in the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act and administrative rules.
- If you complete step two, you will be required to pay an initial license fee (for each license type you have been approved for).
- After completing the steps above, you will be licensed to open your business.
In Michigan, cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use.