89.1 WEMU

Cost Of Being In The Medical Marijuana Business Could Be As Much As $500,000 In Assets

Oct 18, 2017

Cannabis Leaf
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Getting into the medical marijuana game may require hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquid assets. 


The state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced its recommendations for financial requirements for people trying to get a license Tuesday.  It took the recommendations to the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board for board member input and for public comment.

Depending on the type of license a person wants, he or she may be required to show that they have a certain amount of liquid assets. 

Andrew Brisbo is with the state Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation.  He said the state considered multiple factors when determining the financial requirements.

“We looked at the known costs for acquiring a license and wanted to make sure that we establish something that was reasonable when it came to access to licensure,” he said.  “While also ensuring that the businesses have the capitol necessary to meet those minimum barriers.”

The financial requirements break down like this:

  • Grower class A $150,000
  • Grower class B $300,000
  • Grower class C $500,000
  • Processor $300,000
  • Provisioning Center $300,000
  • Secure Transporter $200,000
  • Safety Compliance Facility $200,000

At the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board meeting, multiple people said the financial requirements are too high. They said the amounts would prevent small businesses from getting licenses. 

Chad Morrow is a former dispensary owner.  He said he opened up a shop with a $25,000 loan.  He doesn’t understand why there should be such a steep financial requirement to open a shop.

“It’s going to make it to where only people that are extremely well off [can be in the market],” he said.  “It’s liquid equity.  I mean this is stuff that they have just to dispose of.”

Medical Marihuana Licensing Board chair Rick Johnson wouldn’t commit to whether he thought the state came up with the right financial requirements. 

“I understand what some of the people are saying,” he said.  “But all we can do is keep plowing ahead and hopefully come up with the best of both worlds.”

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org