How To Open A Dispensary In Michigan


Get A Grasp Of Michigan Licensing Including Local Statutes

Michigan’s cannabis sector is overseen by the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA). Most of the state’s laws and regulations stem from the 2018 Michigan Regulation And Taxation Of Marijuana Act, which legalized marijuana for recreational, adult-use. 

To start the application process, fill out a pre-certification to determine whether you’re eligible for consideration. If you are a social equity applicant, you must apply separately with Michigan’s Social Equity Program prior to applying. For this initial prequalification application, a $3,000 non-refundable fee is required. Fortunately, looking over the CRA website, there are dozens of different types of marijuana establishments being approved each month, including plenty of retail only licensees. 

The first step of pre-qualification consists of a background check on the applicants. The second step focuses more on your actual facility. Michigan’s CRA also requires that you have a thorough business plan to show them exactly how you plan on staying in line with their regulations. This includes a review and submission of all necessary paperwork including:

  • Copy of Certificate of Use and Occupancy
  • Copy of deed or lease agreement
  • Copy of proof of financial responsibility (e.g., insurance policy, constant value bond)
  • Copy of marijuana business location plan
  • Copy of floor plan
  • Copy of business plan, including but not limited to technology, marketing, staffing, inventory, and recordkeeping plans:
  • DBA documentation from your county (if applicable)
  • Certificate of Assumed Name obtained from LARA Corporations Division (if applicable)

While applying for a license is certainly a painstaking, competitive ordeal, there are some positives. The whole process is done digitally, allowing you to upload documents right onto the state’s portal. Also, the state guarantees a ninety day return time to either approve of, or deny your application. 

Still, some marijuana retailers will choose to hire consultants or law firms to handle their application and compliance. To be fair, there is plenty of paperwork and compliance know-how to deal with. A simple Google search will offer several options for attorneys that specialize in cannabis-related businesses in Michigan.


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