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More than 70 medical marijuana dispensaries shut down over state licensing

Posted: 10:16 PM, Jan 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-19 15:37:27Z

WAYNE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Dozens of local medical marijuana dispensaries are shut down after the state issued a deadline for the businesses to get a license.

However, many dispensaries say it’s not right and they should have received their license from the state months ago.

Now, patients are left looking for new dispensaries to get their medication.

"If you’re going to open any of them, this is the place that needs to be open right here," Allison Fuller said.

She;s been a customer of Holistic Health Wayne since it opened.

More than 70 unlicensed state medical marijuana dispensaries are shutdown as of December 31.

"Those dispensaries that have been operating under that temporary operation have to get a state license in order to continue to distribute marijuana," Barton Morris, Principal attorney at the Cannabis Legal Group said.

The temporary operators have been given approval from the cities they’re established in, but are still waiting on state approval.

"The applications still haven’t come up yet to the marijuana licensing board and others have been simply denied," Morris said.

Patients who visit their regular dispensary are now left looking for answers.

"I’m forced to find meds elsewhere, an undesirable, probably not a safe location," Jeremy Mikeska, a medical marijuana user said.

"I thought we were all set when we did this voting, apparently not, I don’t understand it," Alan Horn, a medical marijuana user said.

Some fear patients will resort to other ways to get their medication.

"Probably have to revert to the black market or to the caregiver system," Morris said.

Now medical marijuana dispensaries that serve thousands of clients are in the dark, waiting for the marijuana board to give them the green light, while patients take the risk of going somewhere else, somewhere they’re not sure of.

"There’s so many cancer patients that come here for Rick Simpson oil, and know they have nowhere to go. So there’s actually people that are dying that have nowhere to go for their medication," Fuller said.

Temporary medical marijuana dispensaries had to apply for a state license back on February 15, 2018.

After speaking with a local dispensary, they say they're losing hundreds of thousand of dollars, if not millions and says this whole situation is a big mess.

Click here to view all licensed facilities in Michigan.