Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency Announces Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Workgroup

MICHIGAN:  The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) is facilitating a standing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup (DEIW) to continue to advance the proposals of the ad hoc Racial Equity Advisory Workgroup, to empower stakeholders to take ownership in the programs that directly impact their communities, and to continue to guide the Agency on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This workgroup is to be held on the last Friday of every month.  Term length will not exceed 24 months.  The terms of the members will be staggered with new members accepted every 8 months.

Individuals interested in participating in the workgroup must send an email to MRA-SocialEquity@michigan.gov with WORKGROUP in the subject line – the body of the email must contain the following information:

  • Your name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Occupation
  • Job title
  • The name of the employer or organization that you are affiliated with
  • A brief explanation (no more than 250 words) describing what diversity, equity, and inclusion means to you and the perspective you believe you can bring to this group. Please do not include attachments with your email

The Agency will consider all email requests that meet these requirements, and any additional relevant information when establishing the workgroup. Requests and inquiries made via telephone or to other Agency contacts may not be accepted.

The deadline to email your request to participate in the workgroup is Friday, January 29, 2021 at 5:00 PM. Selections for the workgroup will be announced by Friday, February 12, 2021. If you are chosen for a workgroup, you will be notified directly by the Agency.

GKUA Ultra Premium Brings Its Celebrated Cannabis Line To Michigan’s Top Dispensaries

CALIFORNIA: GKUA Ultra Premium, the cannabis brand owned by Lil Wayne, the artistic giant and connoisseur of cannabis, announced today that their highly sought-after cannabis products and strains will be available across Michigan in select dispensaries.

“GKUA is Weezy’s Weed. It’s what I love, and now I’m sharing what I love with the people of Michigan,” said Lil Wayne. “These days everyone could use some help to feel inspired.”

GKUA Ultra Premium launched last December in California to great fanfare, bringing to market the best cannabis products in the world with some of the highest natural levels of THC available. GKUA Ultra Premium flower is sourced from the most experienced growers, who produce strains that are very limited, incredibly potent and rare in the world of cannabis. Now those strains, along with a complete line of cannabis products, will be available in Michigan, a market that moved to adult-use at the end of 2019. Since then, its recreational market has matured rapidly. In June, adult-use marijuana sales in the state surpassed medical cannabis sales, and Marijuana Business Daily expects the state to reach $1.9$2.4 billion by 2024.

“We are thrilled to expand GKUA Ultra Premium into the Michigan community, ensuring residents have access to the worlds-best cannabis products,” said Beau Golob, President and Co-founder GKUA Inc.  “Working with Lil Wayne is an honor, and we’ve found success in California through his unique vision of curating a premium line of products that inspires people and feeds their creativity. We’re sure those values will resonate with the residents of Michigan, a state known for its deep love of music and artistry.”

To celebrate the launch, Lil Twist, the rapper and reality television star, signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment music label, will visit dispensaries in Michigan where GKUA is being distributed. Lil Twist will be meeting fans and giving away swag. The tour, planned for October 10th, will include House of Dank 8 Mile (Detroit, MI), Herbology (River Rouge, MI) and The Clinic (Centerline, MI). For a full list of GKUA retailers in Michigan, use the Weezy Weed Finder on GKUA.com

In order to bring GKUA Ultra Premium to market in Michigan, the company partnered with Choice Labs. At launch, the following GKUA Ultra Premium products will be available in select Michigan dispensaries:

  • GKUA Ultra Premium Flower: Sourced from the most experienced growers, GKUA produces strains that are limited, incredibly potent and impossibly difficult to find…truly the best flower! Available at launch are two ultra premium Indica strains, Sour Garlic Cookies and Gorilla Glue #4.

  • GKUA Ultra Premium Battery Technology: The proprietary ceramic heating element and cutting-edge design is optimized to efficiently deliver vape in easily controllable doses while elevating the user experience. The battery technology combined with GKUA Ultra Premium THC is the future of vape.

  • GKUA THC Vape:  Sourced from the best cannabis strains, GKUA’s THC Vape is an exclusive formulation that carefully transforms the highest-quality cannabis into potent THC vape oil. Independently lab tested and certified for purity. GKUA Ultra Premium vape oil, pure and potent.

  • GKUA Ultra Premium Concentrates: Intensely potent and flavorful, GKUA Ultra Premium Concentrates are sourced from the finest cannabis flower with off-the-chart THC levels created for dabbing or adding to flower. Potency you can taste and feel.

  • GKUA Ultra Premium Pre-Rolls: GKUA Ultra Premium Pre-Rolls are made from the finest GKUA flower. Perfectly rolled for a smooth burn, these joints make taking the party with you easy.

About GKUA Ultra Premium
Lil Wayne, artistic giant and connoisseur of cannabis, has created the ultimate cannabis brand, GKUA Ultra Premium. Lil Wayne provides inspiration to millions of people, and now he is delivering it in one more form, the best high of your life. Produced from the finest cannabis, GKUA Ultra Premium products are Lil Wayne tasted and approved. GKUA strives to inspire artists and dreamers and supports the arts through collaborations with new artists in multiple mediums. GKUA Ultra Premium products are available in select California dispensaries. For more information about GKUA Ultra Premium products and events, visit gkua.com.

Cannabis Caucus Of Michigan’s Democratic Party Releases List Of Candidate Endorsements

2020’s general election is the most significant election in modern American history, and cannabis law reform is a significant part of every election in America- and in Michigan.”

— Rick Thompson, Elections Committee Chair

MICHIGAN:   Pro-cannabis candidates for election have been identified and endorsed by the Michigan Democratic Party’s Cannabis Caucus. The Caucus has endorsed contestants in both national and in-state contests being decided at the General Election on November 3rd.

The Caucus endorses Joe Biden as President and recommends that the state voters return Gary Peters to the US Senate. The full list of endorsements is included below incorporates candidates for select national and state House races; county prosecutors and sheriffs; and local offices. This is not an exhaustive list, as the corona virus and a lack of statewide cannabis ballot proposal has kept cannabis off the minds of many who are running for political office.

The list of endorsements includes:

President
Joe Biden

US Congress
Gary Peters, Senate

US House of Representatives
Dan Kildee 5th District
Elissa Slotkin 8th District
Andy Levin 9th District
Haley Stevens 11th District
Debbie Dingell 12th District
Rashida Talib 13th District
Brenda Lawrence 14th District

Michigan House of Representatives:
Tenisha Yancey District 1
Joseph Tate District 2
Shri Thanendar District 3
Abraham Aiyash District 4
Cynthia Johnson District 5
Tyrone Carter District 6
Helena Scott District 7
Stephanie Young District 8
Karen Whitsett District 9
Abdullah Hammoud District 15
Darrin Cammilleri District 21
Cynthia Neeley District 34
Julia Pulver District 39
Mari Manoogian District 40
Nicole Breadon District 43
John Cherry District 49
Yousef Rabhi District 53
Nancy Smith District 65
Lily Cheng-Schulting District 72
Rachel Hood District 76

County Level Endorsements
Krystle DuPree, Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education
Julie Dye, Cass County Commissioner
Richard Clement, Detroit Public Schools Community District
Carol A Siemon, Ingham County Prosecutor
Val C. Toops, Jackson County Sheriff
Karen McDonald, Oakland County Prosecutor
Vincent Gregory, Oakland County Sheriff
Nick Roumel, Washtenaw Circuit Judge
Eli Savit, Washtenaw County Prosecutor

The Cannabis Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party is Michigan’s partisan cannabis advocacy group and features Mike McCurdy as Chairman and Rick Thompson as Elections Committee Chair. The group has a Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MICannaCaucus/

USDA Approves Michigan’s Industrial Hemp State Plan

MICHIGAN:  The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) received federal approval of the state’s Industrial Hemp Plan. This plan establishes regulatory requirements for cultivating industrial hemp and gives MDARD primary oversight of industrial hemp production in Michigan. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) approval means Michigan’s plan complies with the 2018 Farm Bill requirements and USDA’s Interim Final Rule.

In April 2019, MDARD established the state’s first Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program so farmers, processors, and state colleges and universities could grow, handle, process, and research industrial hemp. The pilot program continued into the 2020 growing season, with 631 growers and 517 processor-handlers registered and/or licensed to grow, process and market industrial hemp.

“The success of the pilot program has paved the way for cultivation and expansion of Michigan’s new crop,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “The approval of the state plan is a testament to the hard work our team has put in over the last 22 months developing the regulatory framework for growers to diversify their operations.”

Senator Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway Township, sponsored the Industrial Hemp Growers Act (Senate Bill 850), to align Michigan’s Industrial Hemp laws with USDA’s Interim Final Rule. Public Act 137 of 2020 enabled Michigan to submit the state plan for approval and keeps Michigan farmers compliant with federal requirements to grow industrial hemp.

“Michigan’s pilot program for industrial hemp has been a great success,” said Lauwers. “There is increasing interest in this crop in a wide variety of sectors. Michigan farmers will benefit greatly from being able to grow hemp, under the 2018 Farm Bill and Michigan’s USDA approved Hemp Growers Program.”

Starting December 1, 2020, MDARD will implement the state hemp plan in tandem with the beginning of the 2021 grower registration cycle. There are some key changes that growers need to be aware of before the December 1 effective date:

  • Growers will no longer be able to collect their own samples for submission to MDARD’s laboratory for THC analysis. Instead, growers will be required to contact the department to schedule an appointment for MDARD staff to collect samples.
  • Growers are required to provide a legal description of the property that they intend to grow hemp on. This is in addition to the already required address, GPS coordinates, acreage, and maps of their growing area(s). Growers will also be required to submit their hemp acreage directly to USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
  • The requirement for growers to harvest their compliant hemp within 15 days of receiving their analysis results will continue in the 2021 growing season.
  • The state plan includes specific methods of destroying industrial hemp determined to be non-compliant and growers must follow the specific notification requirements before destruction.
  • Grower registration applicants must continue to submit a criminal history report. The report is required to include any felony drug convictions occurring outside of Michigan which will require growers to use an FBI background check tool rather than the previous ICHAT tool.

MDARD will send out a series of email updates to hemp growers throughout November on the changes. Additional information about the Michigan industrial hemp program is also available at Michigan.gov/IndustrialHemp. Anyone interested in hemp program updates can self-register here.

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency Social Equity Program Announces October Education and Outreach Session

MICHIGAN: The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has announced the date, time, and location for its October Education and Outreach Session.

Date:     Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Time:    10:00 AM
Place:   Zoom

While attendance is free, space is limited. Interested participants need to register for  the Education and Outreach Session at the following website:

On November 1, 2019, the MRA began accepting applications for licensure under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA), for a marijuana retailer, marijuana processor, class B marijuana grower, class C marijuana grower, or marijuana secure transporter, from persons holding a state operating license pursuant to the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA).

On October 6, 2020, the MRA issued a bulletin announcing that on March 1, 2021, applications will then be accepted from any applicant for the following adult-use licenses:

  • marijuana retailer
  • marijuana processor
  • class B marijuana grower
  • class C marijuana grower
  • marijuana secure transporter

The Education and Outreach Session will highlight all the adult-use licenses that will be available to any applicant beginning on March 1, 2021. The MRA Enforcement Section will also be in attendance to provide information on the required inspections of marijuana establishments.

Representatives from the MRA’s social equity team and Enforcement Section will be holding a question and answer session following their presentations.

The Zoom link to attend the October Education and Outreach event will be sent to participants who register.

Michigan Medical Marijuana Registry Card Application Fee Reduced, Other Fees Eliminated

Screenshot 2019-10-30 09.48.41MICHIGAN: The Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced today that new administrative rules for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) are now in effect. The new rules lowered the registry card application fee by 33 percent while eliminating fees associated with processing updates or replacing marijuana registry cards.

“Our team has worked hard over the last year to streamline the process for Michigan’s medical marijuana cardholders,” said MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo. “Not only have we lowered the costs, but we’ve made it significantly easier for patients to apply for – and receive – their registry cards.”

The MMMA was passed by Michigan voters in 2008 and authorizes the medical use of marijuana for qualifying patients and provides for the issuance of registry identification cards to qualifying patients and their caregivers, if applicable.

Highlights of the new changes are as follows:

  • The patient application fee (for a two-year card) has been reduced from $60.00 to $40.00.
  • The $25.00 caregiver criminal background check processing fee has been eliminated.
  • The $10.00 fee has been eliminated for the following services:
    •  Update the name or address on a registry card
    • Add or remove a caregiver
    • Request a replacement card
  • The renewal period for patients has increased from 60 to 90 days.
  • A provision is now in effect that authorizes patients to change the person designated to be in possession of the plants.
  • Email is now included as a method by which the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) may contact a patient, caregiver, or physician.

The new rule changes come shortly after the MRA expanded the MMMP online processes to allow marijuana patients in Michigan who apply for their marijuana registry card online to use their approval email as a temporary substitute for a valid registry card in order to obtain their medication the same day they are approved.

The email that patients receive after an approved online application serves as a temporary substitute for a valid registry card. This approval email is valid until patients receive their card in the mail or for up to 15 days from the date of the approval email.

As a result, patients do not have to wait to receive their registry cards in the mail and will be able to purchase or obtain medication the same day they are approved. A valid driver’s license or government-issued identification card with a photographic image is also required to purchase marijuana.

To utilize this online service please visit www.michigan.gov/mmp and note the following:

  • A patient’s certifying physician must have an online account with the MMMP
  • A patient must register for an online account
  • The patient must submit an online application

If you have questions about the temporary card or about the online application process, please call the Marijuana Regulatory Agency MMMP Division at 517-284-6400.

Michigan: Marijuana Possession Becomes Legal Next Week

MJLegalMICHIGAN: Key provisions of the state’s voter-initiated marijuana measure will take effect next week. Members of the Board of State Canvassers certified the midterm election results on November 26, and Proposition 1: The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act becomes law on Thursday, December 6.

Provisions specific to the adult possession and cultivation of cannabis will take immediate effect. Those over the age of 21 may legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and/or 15 grams of cannabis concentrates in a private residence. Adults may also legally cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in private, and possess the harvest (up to ten ounces) of those plants. Public use of cannabis will remain a violation of law.

Under the new law, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has up to 12 months to begin accepting applications from those seeking to operate licensed cannabis businesses.

Michigan is the tenth state to regulate the adult use of marijuana, and it is the ninth to do so via voter initiative.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit Michigan NORML.

Michigan: Adult Use Legalization Measure Certified For November’s Ballot

MICHIGAN: Election officials have confirmed that proponents of a statewide ballot measure, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, have gathered a sufficient number of signatures from registered voters to place it on the electoral ballot this November.

Proponents of the voter-initiated measure, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, submitted more than 360,000 signatures in an effort to qualify it for the November 2018 ballot. The initiative permits those over the age of 21 to grow and possess personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to the commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

According to statewide polling commissioned by Michigan NORML, which is a member of the Coalition, 61 percent of voters say that they intend to vote yes on the measure.

Voters in other states will also be deciding on marijuana-related ballot questions later this year. Oklahomans will decide in June on State Question 788, which permits qualified patients to access and cultivate marijuana for therapeutic purposes. Utah voters are also expected to decide on a narrower medicalization measure in November, though officials have yet to officially certify that measure for the ballot. Proponents of a medical marijuana measure in Missouri have surpassed the number of signatures required to place it on the November ballot, well ahead of the state’s May 6 deadline. In South Dakota, officials have confirmed that proponents of a 2018 medical use initiative failed to gather the necessary number of signatures to qualify for November’s ballot.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

Michigan: Support Grows For Proposed Adult Use Initiative

MICHIGAN: More than six in ten Michigan voters endorse a proposed statewide ballot initiative legalizing the adult use and sale of cannabis.

According to polling data compiled by the EPIC-MRA polling research firm and commissioned by Michigan NORML, 61 percent of voters say that they would vote yes on the measure “if the election were held today.” That percentage is up four percentage points from last year, and is an increase of 11 percent since 2014.

Commenting on the statewide polling, MINORML Board Member Brad Forrester said: “I’m not surprised. These results are the product of Michigan NORML’s effective advocacy for the past several years.”

Michigan NORML is a member of The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is backing the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. The initiative permits those over the age of 21 to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to the commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

In November, proponents turned in more than 360,000 signatures in an effort to qualify the measure for the November 2018 ballot. State officials must certify a total of 252,523 valid signatures from registered voters in order to place the initiative on the November 2018 ballot.

Marijuana law reform advocates are continuing to gather signatures for voter-initiated efforts in Missouriand Utah. Proponents of a medical marijuana initiative in South Dakota have turned in their signatures and are awaiting a review by the Secretary of State’s office.

In Oklahoma, voters will decide on June 26 whether or not to approve State Question 788 – a broad-based initiative that permits physicians to recommend medical cannabis to patients at their sole discretion. NORML endorsed State Question 788 in January.


For more information, visit: Michigan NORML or The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.

Michigan: Legalization Coalition Turns In 360,000 Signatures To Place Issue On 2018 Ballot

MICHIGAN: Proponents of a voter initiative effort to legalize and regulate the personal use and retail sale of cannabis in Michigan have turned in more than 360,000 signatures in an effort to qualify the measure for the November 2018 ballot. Advocates must possess a total of 252,523 valid signatures from registered voters in order to place the initiative – the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act – on next year’s ballot.

The initiative permits those over the age of 21 to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to the commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

Proponents of the effort, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, include members of the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association, Michigan NORML, MI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section.

Advocates sought to place a similar measure on the Michigan ballot in 2016. That effort was ultimately turned back when lawmakers imposed and the courts upheld new rules limiting the time frame during which signatures could be collected.

Marijuana law reform advocates are presently gathering signatures for voter-initiated efforts in Missouri and Utah. Proponents of a medical marijuana initiative in South Dakota have turned in their signatures and are awaiting a review by the Secretary of State’s office. A statewide initiative legalizing the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma has already qualified for the 2018 electoral ballot.


For more information, contact: https://www.regulatemi.org or Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.