Michigan relaxes rules for recreational pot businesses

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LANSING, MI (WILX) - Michiganders hoping to participate in the state's new recreational marijuana economy now have relaxed rules to navigate.

New "emergency rules" announced Wednesday by Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) intend to make it easier for local municipalities and prospective licensees to participate in the new industry as they await applications to open in November.

"The rules ensure a fair and efficient regulatory structure for Michigan businesses as well as access to safety-tested marijuana for Michigan’s citizens and visitors," LARA said.

New types of licenses include temporary licenses for businesses that want to sell marijuana products for a limited time, as well special event licenses to approve events in which people consume cannabis or where cannabis is present.

Another new license allows growers to expand the number of marijuana plants they grow beyond the level that was originally legally allowed. The Michigan Cannabis Industry Association says this will help with a product shortage issue in the medical marijuana market.

Overall, the association approves of the new rules.

"At first glance we are believe these rules are well thought out and forward-thinking," communications director Josh Hovey said in a statement.

The association believes small businesses will benefit from the relaxed rules, as will the those who have a strong demand for cannabis events.

Other updated rules from the state include fewer financial records to apply and a quicker application process in some cases. Also, recreational pot businesses will not be required to keep as much of their customers' personal information.

Prospective stakeholders have four months to evaluate the rules and decide whether they want to apply before applications open on Nov. 1.

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