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State marijuana license board could vote on future of dispensaries Tuesday

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A state licensing board could decide Tuesday whether marijuana dispensaries in Michigan should get to stay open.

The Medical Marijuana Licensing Board is expected to start issuing licenses in December. In the meantime, some board members have signaled that existing dispensaries should have to close in order to qualify.

The state’s licensing department plans to speak at the meeting.

Andrew Brisbo is with the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation in the state’s licensing department. He said the bureau wants to make sure patients have safe access to medical marijuana.

“We want to make sure we have a fair and efficient process by which we can issue licenses,” he said. “And that’s where I think that clarity in our approach is of critical importance to these prospective licensees.”

Brisbo said the bureau will give the board its recommendation on how to proceed with dispensary shops.

“It’s less about requiring a shutdown, which neither the board nor the department have the authority to do. But more considering how their operation prior to the issuance of a license would be considered in a licensing context,” he said.

The board cannot enforce closures or require dispensaries to close, but it could refuse licenses to shops that do not to close.

But new reports say at least one dispensary in Detroit is closing in order to stay in compliance with the state.