On December 15th, the doors officially opened at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to accept medical marijuana insurance license applications in Michigan.  Before 4 pm, 77 applications had either been partially or fully completed.  Originally, the medical marijuana ballot proposal allowed caregivers to grow up to 72 plants for 5 patients with medical marijuana cards.  The rules were vague, and some cities ignored “caregiver centers” while others cracked down on the unofficial dispensaries.  Now under the fully regulated market, grower, processor, testing facility, secure transporter, and dispensary licenses are available.

Dan Madigan, the first individual to show up to deliver his application to LARA, is hoping to transition from caregiver to Class A grower so he can better help his patients who are mostly veterans.  But there are over 265,000 Michigan residents with medical marijuana cards and the new market is expected to have at least $711 million in sales, bringing in $21 million in tax revenue to the state.  Another proposed ballot is brewing, hoping to fully legalize marijuana for recreational use, and involves a 16% tax on sales.  So it’s no surprise that bigger businesses desire to join the industry.

TheraCann USA, an international medical marijuana company integrating cultivation, processing and provisioning centers, wants to open in Michigan due to the number of card holders.  The company proposed a $20 million facility in Kingsley, south of Traverse City, earlier in the year, but backed out of the location in December.  TheraCann is still looking for other cities to locate in, and is open to partnering with a business already established in the marijuana industry with a current location.

RYO Distribution is a tobacco product wholesale distributor hoping to break into the marijuana industry.  Seeing it as a business venture to gain more revenue and hire more people, the company seeks to use existing warehouse space to grow plants and bring jobs to the area.  The owner wants to keep the existing tobacco business separate from any new marijuana ventures, but believes the experience and expertise gained working in the highly regulated tobacco industry would help guide him through the medical marijuana business.

Members of the Barnes family, who own Belle Tire, also appear to be considering joining the industry. A new business called Weed Rx was registered on May 8 by members of the family, according to a state filing.  A spokesperson for the Barnes said Weed Rx is not affiliated with Belle Tire and was preemptively formed in case they ever wanted to enter the legal medical marijuana industry.

Wild Bill’s Tobacco is looking to round out selling “everything smoke” by adding medical marijuana to their list.  Wild Bill’s Tobacco shares ownership with Oasis Wellness Center and is looking to open provisioning centers in Bay County’s Bangor Township.

Lansing businessman Ron Boji isn’t in seeking a license himself but is interesting in renting physical space to those with licenses.  His company, United Wholesale, distributes tobacco and other products.  Boji is considering renting some wholesale warehouse space to those in the medical marijuana business.

There are no deadlines or limits on the number of licenses awarded by the state.  However, municipalities can dictate what type of business they’ll allow in their community, and how many.  The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has found it challenging to predict how many applications to prepare for, but Michigan’s medical marijuana industry seems to be gaining interest from some larger companies.

As the industry grows so will the need for proper Michigan cannabis insurance coverage. If you have questions about insuring your business we recommend reaching out the the insurance experts at insuretheweed.com. You can reach their team at (586) 789-9943.

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