Ann Arbor business is first to apply for recreational marijuana license

Posted at 2:05 PM, Nov 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-02 14:05:12-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — The window is now open for businesses to apply for a recreational marijuana business license.

Just after midnight, the state started to except applications and have received several dozens.

Exclusive Brands in Ann Arbor didn't waste any time – they were the first to apply for a recreational marijuana license.

"We’re very excited about it. We have aggressively been trying g to be the first applicant," said owner Omar Hishmeh.

The Michigan Department of Regulatory Affairs have opened the door for businesses to apply for a recreational marijuana license. An application with a non-refundable price tag of $6,000.

"We’re hoping that the ordinance will be clear cut and not change," said Hishmeh. "There was a lot of ups and downs on the medical marijuana side, but it’s a new industry."

Once the window opened at 12:01a.m., Exclusive Brands submitted an application at 12:17 a.m., and they got past the first hurdle and were pre-qualified.

"I had everything filled out and ready to go. We had been working on this for a very long time and all our plans and all the intricacies of it and at 12:01 we started uploading," said Narmin Jarrous, the president of business development.

Exclusive Brands is hoping to grow the business into the recreational market and expand.

"Making it more accessible to people was one of our biggest goals, especially with the social equity program now which is helping."

Omar, originally from Florida and previously a car dealer, says the marijuana market in Michigan is enormous, and the potential growth on the recreational side is promising.

"We’re hoping for the best and we’re ready for the ride," said Hishmeh. "Definitely being the first at things, you’ve got to go with the emotion and take it how it comes, but we’re really excited and we’re hoping it’s going to be a big difference."

In total, the state received 52 applications.

Sales of recreational marijuana are expected to begin sometime early next year.