Why recreational marijuana likely won't be available for sale until spring 

click to enlarge STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling

Stoners, just a little more patience.

Recreational marijuana, which was approved by Michigan voters nearly a year ago, likely won’t be available for sale until March or April.

There was hope that recreational sales would begin later this year, but doing so would come at the expense of medical marijuana users, according to the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA).

Here’s the skinny: On Friday, the agency will begin accepting applications for recreational cannabis businesses, including dispensaries, growers, and processors. Businesses that have already been approved for medical cannabis get first dibs. By late November, the MRA will begin approving the applications.

The agency has the option of allowing the approved businesses to use some of their medical marijuana for recreational sales. But with a possible shortage of medical cannabis, the agency’s director, Andrew Brisbo, has not approved that option to ensure patients don’t run out of their medicine.

“The worse thing you can do in the face of a perceived shortage is to move (the medical cannabis) to the adult side,” MRA spokesman David Harns tells Metro Times.

That likely means the first batch of recreational pot won’t start growing until late November at the earliest. An average marijuana grow takes three to four months. Then the pot has to be dried, trimmed, and cured before it ends up on the shelf of a dispensary.

Under the recreational law, residents 21 and over will be able to legally buy marijuana.

Just a few more months, stoners.

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