What You Need to Know About Recreational Marijuana in Michigan – From THE Source

Posted on March 27, 2019 by Dene Westbrook

Andrew Brisbo, director at Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) – Bureau of Marijuana Regulation, speaks at the 2019 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference.

We had a really nice, informative discussion with the person who is in charge of regulating marijuana in Michigan. The League’s Jennifer Rigterink and myself, recorded our Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast at our Capital Conference last week with Andrew Brisbo, director at Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) – Bureau of Marijuana Regulation. Listen here.

Brisbo, a fellow Central Michigan University graduate, was a pleasure to talk with and at just over 15-minutes long, the podcast is well worth your time.

He explains the recreational marijuana law that was approved by voters in November, what Michigan communities need to do to prepare, and whether or not his agency will be ready by a Dec. 6, 2019, deadline to start licensing business. The short answer to that last question is “yes.”

A key issue facing Michigan’s cities, villages and townships right now on this topic is whether or not to opt-out of wanting marijuana businesses in their communities. Many communities, Brisbo explained, are deciding to opt out until his agency comes up with the rules and regulations. Of the 1,773 communities in the state, so far 320 have notified LARA that they are opting-out at this time. He added a community that opts-out can choose at a later date to opt back in.

Podcasting booth at the 2019 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference.

“We’re talking about a somewhat political divisive issue still,” Brisbo said. “A lot of communities don’t have concern with citizens having access and possessing marijuana, but it’s a completely different ballgame when you’re talking about having a commercial facility to grow or process or sell marijuana at retail.”

Brisbo said his agency is starting now to “put pen to paper” in drafting the rules and regulations for the industry and he’s quite optimistic they will “absolutely” be done by the December deadline. He said the fact that medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan for several years has better prepared his agency for recreational marijuana.

The biggest issue his agency is faced with now is the misinformation that’s out there about the emerging industry. He said the best source of reliable, factual information is his agency and there is a girth of information available at For issues specific to the marijuana laws and Michigan Municipal League member communities, check out the MML marijuana resource page here.

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