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Michigan Marijuana Retail: 5 Things to Know Before You Open a Dispensary


Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has announced it will begin accepting adult-use cannabis license applications beginning November 1, and businesses are preparing to get their piece of what’s projected to be a $1.4 billion market. But before the state authorizes you to sell recreational cannabis, you’ll have to successfully navigate the licensing process and ensure your operation is compliant with Michigan’s marijuana retail laws.

Below, we’re answering five common FAQs related to launching an adult-use marijuana retail store in Michigan.

Michigan Recreational Cannabis Retail FAQ

1. Who can apply for an adult-use marijuana retail license?

Under Michigan law, the state can only accept adult-use marijuana retailer license applications from persons currently licensed as a medical marijuana operator. This restriction will remain in place for 24 months after the MRA begins receiving applications for recreational cannabis establishments.

2. What is the process to get licensed?

The MRA is utilizing a two-step licensing process for adult-use marijuana operators. The first step, pre-qualification, includes submission of all application materials, a background check of the main applicant and all supplemental applicants, and payment of the application fee.

During the second step, the MRA will review the proposed retail marijuana establishment, including business specifications, proof of financial responsibility, municipality information, and general employee information. The physical establishment must pass an MRA inspection within 60 days of submitting the application.

3. How much does it cost to get licensed?

A non-refundable application fee of $6,000 must be paid during the pre-qualification phase of the application process. If approved for an adult-use marijuana retail license, the initial licensure fee is $25,000.

There may be additional fees associated with recreational retail cannabis business licensing at the local level; check with your local municipality to find out more.

4. How much recreational cannabis can you sell?

Michigan law states that retailers are prohibited from making a sale or transferring marijuana to an adult aged 21 or older in a single transaction that exceeds 2.5 ounces, with no more than 15 grams in the form of cannabis concentrate.

Purchase limits can easily be tracked and enforced with the right technology. Cova’s cannabis retail POS comes equipped with automated purchase limit alerts that prevent your budtenders from overselling — and protect you from a potentially costly compliance infraction.

5. How can a cannabis-specific POS system help my adult-use retail operation?

In addition to helping you remain compliant with built-in features like age-verification ID scanners, purchase limit alerts, and programmable hours of operation, a point of sale designed specifically for cannabis retail can also help you streamline your operations, create memorable customer experiences, and better manage your inventory.

When shopping for a cannabis POS, you’ll want to ensure that it has the capability to fully integrate with Metrc. This will save you even more time and labor by automating the process and eliminating the need for manual compliance reporting. You’ll also want to check for integration capability with leading third-party cannabis menu sites like Leafly and Weedmaps.

Finally, a cannabis-specific POS will help ease your transition from medical marijuana to adult-use cannabis sales and optimize both aspects of your operation.

See Cova In Action with a Live Demo

Ready to see exactly how Cova can help you maximize your medical and adult-use marijuana retail businesses in Michigan? Contact us today to schedule a free demo — we’ll show you just how easy compliant cannabis operations and inventory management can be.



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