After months of restricting access to its recreational cannabis industry, Michigan has loosened a key restriction that kept many from acquiring a recreational cannabis license. Beginning on March 1, 2021, applicants for five types of recreational cannabis licenses will not be required to have an active medical marijuana license to qualify. The state initially put this policy in place to allow the companies that first invested in cannabis to become established and recoup their costs before the industry was filled with sellers, says the director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association.
Although the requirement was supposed to remain active for two years after the state began issuing recreational cannabis licenses, cannabis legislation passed by voters in 2018 said the state could remove the prerequisite after a year to fight black market sales, address reduced supply and provide rural communities more access to cannabis. According to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (“MRA”), the body in charge of regulating cannabis in the state, it is loosening licensing requirements earlier than planned to deal with an influx of unlicensed and untested cannabis from the black market.
Individuals will now be eligible for the following licenses even if they do not currently hold an active medical cannabis license: Class B marijuana grower, Class C marijuana grower, marijuana processor, marijuana secure transporter and marijuana retailer. The MRA first announced the change in license eligibility last October, saying that if it determined that more licenses would deal a blow to black-market sales, boost supply to meet rising demand or provide access to rural communities, it would remove the restriction.
Data from the Michigan State Police Marijuana Tobacco Investigation Section shows that 83% of illegal cannabis plant and product seizures happen in municipalities that do not have licensed cannabis establishments. In the city of Detroit, there has been a 36% increase in drug-related homicides and a 214% increase in nonfatal cannabis-related shootings, says the agency. The state had reduced supply to just the companies that held medical marijuana licenses, and since they couldn’t cater to demand, customers turned to the black market.
According to the MRA, greater participation by municipal authorities is a positive step towards curbing the growth of the illicit market. The agency will update the license applications and instructions on its website, and starting this month, it will not accept previous versions of recreational cannabis applications. Interested individuals should submit their applications via the Accela Citizen Access online portal.
Away from Michigan and its attempts to stamp out the illicit cannabis market, Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN) is making strides in a market where cannabis is legal. The company secured USDA organic certification for its hemp cultivation facilities based in California. This certification positions the company for massive growth both nationally and internationally.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/GRYN
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