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LANSING, MI – Just two months after Michigan Medical Marijuana Dispensaries were told they could face licensure or impediment by the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation if still open after Dec. 15, the decision has been reversed.

Andrew Brisbo of the BMMR said via press release: “Through emergency rules, the Bureau and Board will not consider a medical marihuana facility’s prior operation as an impediment to licensure as long as the applicant documents approval from their municipality in their application.”

Dispensaries are at the moment operating in somewhat of a legal gray area. The BMMR was created under a 2016 law, along with the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board, to license facilities such as dispensaries and grow-ops, in attempt to bolster their legitimacy. But before the state board begins accepting applications on December 15, the BMMR is building on the legislative framework by creating emergency rules.

The idea of penalizing currently-operating dispensaries in the licensure process first came up in August when Medical Marihuana Licensing Board member Don Bailey moved to have all dispensaries shut down if they wanted to be considered for licensure.  In August, Medical Marijuana Licensing Board member Don Bailey moved to shut down all dispensaries which planned to be considered for licensure.

Brisbo initially proposed a Sept. 15 date by which all dispensaries seeking licenses would need to shut down to be considered for licensure later on. He reversed his intent in a September meeting, instead saying shops had until December 15 – the application window’s start date – to halt operations. In the event that the shops failed to do so, they would have potentially faced license impediments.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Dispensaries currently have 272, 215 patients, says a spokesperson for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The state currently has 272,215 patients, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.  Some patients testified before the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board in opposition to any action that would close dispensaries.

On Nov. 1, the BMMR reversed course according to a press release. In the release, the BMMR declared it will allow dispensaries to continue operating under local approval, without an impact on their eligibility for a license.