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Marijuana Regulatory Agency cuts application fees, implements new rules

Many cancer patients seek treatment with medical marijuana.
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Many cancer patients seek treatment with medical marijuana.

New rules for Michigan’s marijuana industry took effect Monday.

The new policies include changes like lowering application fees and creating new license types.

Marijuana Regulatory Agency Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said the new rules keep Michigan’s policies in line with industry changes.

“The agency has to be responsive to the needs of the businesses in order to remove any unnecessary barriers, provide them opportunities to continue to innovate and be successful, but also ensuring that any new developments are evaluated for the sake of ensuring consumer safety,” he said.

The new license types deal with small-scale operations and educational research.

Brisbo said the rules would benefit some public universities in the upper peninsula in particular.

“Students will have an opportunity to engage in hands-on research not just for academic purposes, but also for those hands-on learning opportunities for skills that are necessary within the industry itself and positioning Michigan as a continued leader in the space of research and academics in the cannabis space,” Brisbo said.

Another change formalizes limited-contact services like drive-thru operations and curbside pickup.

“We always want to be open to innovation, so we feel it’s our responsibility simply to set some baseline standards for any of those transactions that occur outside of the store and allow, then, licensees to take advantage of those opportunities,” Brisbo said.

Limited contact operations became more common during the pandemic—when the agency said they didn’t violate any existing rules.

Monday’s change formalizes regulations in that area.