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Michigan regulators speed up recreational marijuana retail sales

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steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio

Recreational marijuana sales may start in Michigan months sooner than expected.

The state Marijuana Regulatory Agency posted a bulletin to cannabis businesses on Wednesday advising them of a rule change that will allow retail recreational sales starting December 1st.

The agency says existing growers, processors and provisioning centers that obtain recreational licenses can transfer up to 50% of marijuana products earmarked for medical sales to recreational.

The rule includes marihuana infused product, marihuana concentrate and buds that have been in inventory for a minimum of 30 days.

Michigan voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana use a year ago. The law took effect in December 2018. But retail sales have been on hold as the state has constructed a regulatory framework.   The Marijuana Regulatory Agency started accepting applications for recreational business licenses at the beginning of this month. 

Surprisingly, many marijuana businesses feel “blindsided” by the change.

Robin Schneider is the executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association.

She had expected retail sales wouldn’t begin until March or April.   

Schneider says she’s “very concerned” for medical marijuana patients who are already dealing with a supply shortage. 

She says state regulators are “taking medicine away from sick people and giving it to the recreational market.”

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