Muskegon Sun

Muskegon Sun

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

As Michigan adjusts to recreational marijuana, Muskegon dispensary set to hold grand opening


By Elle Johnson | Mar 8, 2020


A marijuana dispensary in Muskegon will finally get to mark its grand opening for recreational marijuana users on March 13 and 14. 

Bella Sol Wellness Centers off Laketon Avenue, a company that sells medical marijuana, had planned to have a grand opening for its recreational marijuana business on Jan. 18. The company had state permits approved, but had to cancel the event due to a shortage of the product.

With many communities allowing recreational marijuana in Michigan, the state released a set of emergency rules for recreational marijuana use. Those rules included capping the number of large-scale marijuana grow licenses a company can have at five, which means the number of plants one commercial grower can have growing is limited to 10,000. 

For some marijuana growers, that isn't enough, as the owners of Bella Sol experienced.

Not many businesses are selling recreational marijuana yet, because they were required to submit licenses before doing so. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency started accepting licenses in November 2019. Many businesses are just starting to sell the drug recreationally. 

The emergency rules also made it so cities and towns could ban recreational marijuana, but they had to do so by Nov. 1, 2019. Approximately 600 Michigan communities have banned it, some only temporarily, though.

Soon social marijuana use at special events will be allowed, but permits must be obtained. Regulators said that alcohol and food sales cannot be present in places that choose to have social use. 

Regulators have made it easier to start a recreational marijuana business than a medical marijuana business by eliminating the need for business license applicants to prove they have the funds for their business. Medical marijuana businesses have to prove to state regulators that they have between $200,000 to $500,000 in assets. A license for a retail store also costs less than a license for a medical provisioning center. 

Businesses can also sell both medical and recreational marijuana in the same store, but with different sections separating the two. In the future, these businesses will also be able to deliver recreational marijuana to someone's door, much like people can do with medical marijuana now, but marijuana drive-thrus are not permitted. Mobile shops and mail orders will also be banned. 

Additionally, medical marijuana plants can be transferred to recreational marijuana plants. 

A social equity plan is currently being developed by state officials to help communities that have been affected by marijuana prohibition in that past. It will be released in July 2020. 

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