Judge spares about 50 marijuana dispensaries from closure in Michigan

click to enlarge Judge spares about 50 marijuana dispensaries from closure in Michigan
Steve Neavling

About 50 medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan were on the verge of shutting down Monday until a judge intervened.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello issued a temporary restraining order Thursday to prevent the state from forcing unlicensed cannabis shops to close.

The order gives dispensaries another two weeks to obtain a license.

Applicants to operate a grow facility or dispensary have long complained about the state's achingly slow rollout of licenses. The state began allowing dispensaries to open until their application to operate is reviewed.

As of early February, more than 150 dispensary applicants were still waiting for approval. An additional 130 applications to operate a grow facility were awaiting review.

The state said it will comply with the order.

"The Bureau of Marijuana Regulation is aware of pending litigation regarding the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board’s resolutions on Marijuana Product Access for Patients," David Harns, spokesman for Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs tells the Metro Times. "Until further order of the court, BMR will maintain the status quo and not enforce the March 31 deadline with respect to both temporary operating facilities and caregiver products."

In an attempt to streamline the process, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created a new agency to oversee the marijuana industry.

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