State taking recreational pot applications Friday

Marijuana in MI

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The state will start taking applications for recreational marijuana businesses at midnight Friday, putting Michigan one major step closer to seeing it for sale legally.

Greg Maki is a former auto scrap dealer-turned-medical marijuana provisioner, running Park Place Provisionary in Muskegon and Exit 9 Provisionary near Nunica. He is also ready to get busy selling recreational marijuana.

“I’d say probably about 12:01 Friday morning, we’re hitting the button and we’re going to apply for the adult use license,” Maki said. “I feel very blessed that the city of Muskegon is one of the first municipalities to opt into the adult use recreational market.” 

Maki will be joining hundreds of others who will start applying online at the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency website, which will then approve the paperwork and verify the application.

“We expect that the agency could, in fact, be issuing adult use licenses within two weeks after Nov. 1,” said Ben Wrigley, who heads Cannalex Law in Grand Rapids Township, which represents clients in the nascent marijuana industry. “It’s really not that difficult to take an existing licensee and give them a brand new license.” 

But it won’t come cheap. 

“It’s a $6,000 nonrefundable application fee,”” Wrigley said. 

That’s in addition to the $44,000 licensing fee to the state to start a new class a provisioning center. Then there is a fee of up to $5,000 that can be charged by the municipality for its application process. 

The applicants then have to get approval from the municipalities where they are located. Grand Rapids is not expecting to have its own rules in place until April. Lowell has approved recreational marijuana but because it did not opt into medical marijuana, any business there will first have to build a facility before opening.

Muskegon and Kalamazoo counties would be the first areas in West Michigan to see an open adult use marijuana dispensary. 

Wrigley believes recreational marijuana could be available 30 to 45 days after the state application period starts. Maki said he could be up and running in a matter of days after the state approval. 

One hitch is that the state is still considering whether it will allow the existing medical marijuana supply to be converted to recreational marijuana or if the recreational pot will have to come from a new crop to avoid depleting the medical supply. 

“If they do that, the growers will have to start with seeds, clones and it’d be up to a six-, seven-month delay,” Maki said. 

He’s also expecting an impact on the price of marijuana once recreational shops start opening.

“Over the next two years, the prices are going to be extremely high, then eventually come down,” Wrigley said.

Maki said he will only raise his prices if his suppliers raise their prices. 

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