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US: Michigan centralizes MMJ regulation in new bureau

Michigan has centralized all aspects of medical marijuana regulation with the creation of the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation (BMMR) housed in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The new bureau combines the existing oversight functions of the state’s patient and caregiver registry with the newly established statutory requirements for medical marijuana facility licensing.

“BMMR’s organizational structure puts Michigan at the forefront of state medical marijuana regulation,” said LARA Director Shelly Edgerton. “Many other states have various licenses and patient programs spread throughout different departments and agencies. The bureau’s centralized services will enhance patient protections and make regulations more efficient for business customers.”

BMMR is in the process of implementing the regulatory framework created by legislation signed by Gov. Snyder in September 2016. Regulatory functions include the licensing, investigation and enforcement of medical marijuana growers, processors, secure transporters, provisioning centers and safety compliance facilities. The legislation requires the bureau to make licensing applications available by December 15, 2017.

As part of the implementation of the statutory requirements, BMMR has selected the technology company Franwell, Inc. to administer the state’s monitoring and tracking system. The system will provide the bureau with detailed inventory information, track medical marijuana in all its forms from “seed to sale” and help ensure the legal manufacturing, transportation and financial transaction of medical marijuana in Michigan.

BMMR will also house the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP), the state patient and caregiver registry that currently contains more than 240,000 active patients and 40,000 active caregivers. The program administers the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act as approved by voters in 2008.

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