Michigan Cannabis Consultant Overview:

How To Open A Marijuana Business in Michigan

Are you interested in starting a cannabis business in Michigan? The cannabis consultants at New Leaf can help you navigate the process!

This summary of Michigan requirements and license application process outlines what it takes to win a marijuana business license. Get started today to meet the demands of consumers! Schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable cannabis consultants in Michigan.

Michigan Cannabis Consulting & License Application Writing Experts

New Leaf Cannabis Consulting is the #1 Top Rated Cannabis Application Writing, Consulting, and Capital Fundraising one-stop-shop in the U.S. We offer a complete range of services from business model formation and planning, to state licensure, to raising capital and finding investors for the business.

New Leaf has worked with over 180 clients in over 16 different states since we opened our doors in 2015. Our success rate is well over 95% across the board. We offer more services than any of our competition.

If you need cash for your cannabis startup, and/or state and municipal license approval for a completely reasonable price, look no further than New Leaf Cannabis Consulting.

Cannabis Market Condition Overview

Business Climate and Timeline

  • Michigan was the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana. The the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act was passed in 2018, legalizing recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21.
  • Michigan law specifies that any use of cannabis must take place in private, such as the user’s own residence. It is illegal to carry cannabis in areas frequented by children, such as schools or parks. Some areas in Michigan fall under federal jurisdiction. It is illegal to possess or use cannabis in places like airports or government buildings.

Real Estate & Zoning

In most states, you will need to lock down the location for business operations in the form of either a lease, lease with option to purchase, or a purchase agreement.

Most importantly, during the real estate acquisition process, your company MUST make sure that the actual location COMPLETELY adheres to state and municipal regulations regarding distance restrictions from other businesses such as a daycare or school. An example of this would be Dispensary/Retail. Most times you will not be able to locate your dispensary in a section of the city which is not zoned specifically for retail. Your dispensary location cannot be located anywhere else. Check with the Cannabis Regulatory Agency for locality resolutions and ordinances.

Usually the next step is Municipal/City/Township Approval. Nine times out of ten, these steps will need to take place before the full license application can be completed and submitted.

Laws and Regulations

As you get started, read up on Michigan’s laws, rules, and regulations. The Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) — formerly the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) — regulates Michigan’s adult-use marijuana establishments and licensees in accordance with the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). The CRA aims to “establish Michigan as the national model for a regulatory program that stimulates business growth while preserving safe consumer access to cannabis.”

Licensing. The CRA issues licenses to cannabis producers, microbusiness producers, integrated microbusinesses, manufacturers, retailers, consumption areas, vertically integrated establishments, couriers, and testing and research laboratories.

Compliance. Applicants for a Michigan dispensary license, growers license, processor license, secure transporter license, safety compliance facility or lab testing facility license must adhere to the revised House Bill 4209.

All transactions, current inventory, and other information must be enter into the statewide monitoring system. Michigan House Bill 4827 authorizes LARA to provide a web-based monitoring system for tracking, inventory checking and verifying cannabis products. This system is the Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting & Compliance (Metrc).

Additionally, when applying for a license you must have been Michigan resident for more than two years.

Need assistance getting a Michigan cannabis business license?  Schedule a Free Consultation

Michigan Cannabis License Types

Currently there are 10 types of cannabis business licenses in Michigan:

  • Grower
  • Processor
  • Microbusiness
  • Retailer
  • Secure Transporter
  • Safety Compliance Facility
  • Marijuana Event Organizer
  • Temporary Marijuana Event
  • Designated Consumption Establishment
  • Marijuana Educational Research

Michigan Cannabis License Process and Scoring Criteria

Michigan Cannabis License Requirements

Cannabis licenses are awarded by having a complete and well written application and all required supplemental documentation as well as city approval. An applicant’s criminal history also comes into play as well as past taxes of the owner/directors of the company. And of course, sometimes there is a required proof of capitalization — i.e. proving that you will have enough money in the bank to build out and run your business.

In highly competitive states such as Illinois or New York, there is a scoring process for an extremely limited number of available licenses. Licenses will be awarded to only the best of the best submissions. It is highly suggested that you hire an agency that can provide you with an “above and beyond” application submission.

Eligibility for a Cannabis License in Michigan

To apply for a marijuana license in Michigan, applicants must meet several qualifications and eligibility requirements necessary to receive a license. Each applicant must be 21 years of age or older and is required to undergo a criminal background check.

Application Requirements for Marijuana Licenses in Michigan

To apply for a cannabis business license, you must show compliance with Michigan laws and local ordinances. To illustrate your commitment to the process, hundreds of pages of technical writing may be necessary.

Some of the necessary documentation includes the following:

  • License Application (Required Measures and/or Exhibits). A well written application will need to be written in lockstep with the State Regulations for each Exhibit/measure.
  • Business Plan. Including executive summary, mission statement, market analysis, 5 to 7 year business life-cycle timeline with expansion events. Products and services, management and staff, SWOT analysis, quality assurance and compliance.
  • Financials. Full 5 to 7 year financial projections, income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows.
  • Operations Manuals, Exhibits and SOP’s such as:
    • Inventory and Recordkeeping/Diversion
    • Quality Assurance Manuals
    • Operations Manuals/Procedures for cultivation, processing, dispensary, lab testing, transportation
    • Transportation and Distribution Plan
    • Employee, Staffing and Training Manuals
    • Social and Economic Impact/equity plans/community outreach plan
    • Environmental Plans with water and electrical usage plan/manual
    • Chemical and Pesticide Storage Plans
    • Waste Disposal Procedures
    • Accounting and Tax Compliance
    • Hemp Research Plan
    • Sanitation and Maintenance Plans
    • Odor Control Plan
    • Patient/Customer Education Manuals (mainly for dispensary/retail)
  • Labor/Union Compliance Agreements
  • Training Manuals. New Leaf will design manuals to your specifications, along with state regulations, for all cannabis business models
  • Regulatory Compliance Manuals. These explain all the different regulatory compliance regulations, such as quality assurance, product recall, packaging and labeling, advertising, hours of operation, patient and/or customer purchase limits, staffing and training, inventory and record keeping, security, tax payment and insurance compliance.
  • Security Plan. Video Surveillance, Alarm System, Emergency Procedures.
  • Floor Plans, Blueprints. To-Scale, with Security Overlays. Floor plans of the entire facility.
  • Corporate Structuring. Social Equity Certification and Registration, LLC and Corporation Registration and FEIN filing, Operating Agreements, Capitalization Tables, Shareholder Rights and Regulations Consultation, Corporate Bylaw Strategy.

Post Licensure Support. New Leaf serves as a liaison between you, your company, and the State Licensing Commission to help you get through the application evaluation. The State, no matter how good your application is, most definitely will have follow up questions and requests for additional documentation and/or information.

Denial Appeal. Denial appeal is also part of the Post Licensure Support.

Financial Requirements — How much does it cost to get a cannabis license in Michigan?

Many states will require what is known as a Capitalization Attestation. What is this, you may ask? A capitalization attestation is usually done by a CPA. It involves submitting your profit and loss statements, bank account information, proof of funds, and an assumption of the costs for startup CapEx and OpEx.

Need Cash for your Cannabis Startup? New Leaf offers a full suite of Investment Capital Fundraising Services including corporate structuring and partnership agreements, 409 (B) company valuations, 5-7 year pro forma financial projections, and more! New Leaf will act on your behalf in actually SHOPPING the deal to our syndicate of accredited investors from across the globe. We can help you successfully raise the capital needed to get your project off the ground. Find out more here.

Application Fees, License and Renewal Fees

There are three different types of fees associated with Michigan adult-use marijuana establishment licenses: the application fee, initial licensure fee, and the renewal fee.


There is a nonrefundable $3,000 application fee for prequalification.


Upon approval for licensure, an initial licensure fee will be assessed. The initial licensure fee varies by license type. After a year, the license must be renewed if the licensee wishes to continue operating. The renewal fees vary by license type.


Class A Marijuana Grower $1,200, renewal $1,200

Class B Marijuana Grower $6,000, renewal $6,000

Class C Marijuana Grower $24,000, renewal $24,000

Excess Marijuana Grower $24,000, renewal $24,000

Marijuana Microbusiness $8,300, renewal $8,300

Class A Marijuana Microbusiness $18,600, renewal $18,600

Marijuana Processor $24,000, renewal $24,000

Marijuana Retailer $15,000, renewal $15,000

Marijuana Secure Transporter $15,000, renewal $15,000

Marijuana Safety Compliance Facility $15,000, renewal $15,000

Marijuana Event Organizer $1,000, renewal $1,000

Temporary Marijuana Event
See Rule 26 in the Marihuana Licenses Rule Set (R 420.26)

Designated Consumption Establishment $1,000, renewal $1,000

Marijuana Educational Research n/a

How to Win a Michigan Cannabis Business License

A step-by-step guide on how to apply for and WIN a cannabis license in Michigan.

  1. Review the state laws, rules & regulations. Learn about the rules and regulations necessary to operate a cannabis business in the state of Michigan. This will help you and your team understand the requirements to win a cannabis license.
  2. Choose a Michigan cannabis business license type. Michigan issues 10 different types of cannabis business licenses.
  3. Connect with a Michigan cannabis consulting firm. Consider reaching out to a Michigan cannabis consultant. Cannabis business license applications can be extremely complex and time-consuming to write. The professional Michigan marijuana consultants at New Leaf can manage the entire process for you. We can assist you with license application writing services, increasing your chance of winning a cannabis license in Michigan. Book a free consultation today!
  4. Form a business entity. Forming a legal business entity is the next step in the process of applying for a cannabis license in Michigan. LLCs and corporations are the two types most commonly formed by cannabis applicants. Find out which is the best choice for your business goals — we can help.
  5. Select a location for your cannabis business in Michigan. Choosing a property for your cannabis business that meets all the state and local requirements can be complicated as well. Our experience with zoning processes that can help you find the ideal property for your marijuana business.
  6. Build the best team. The team that you list on your application will have a major impact on whether or not you receive a license.
  7. Write a business plan. After securing a location for your cannabis business, the next step is to develop a carefully detailed business plan. Your business plan will help lay out your goals and track progress as your business begins to grow. Business plans can also help attract investors. Investors use them to determine if a business is on the right path and worth putting money into.
  8. Raise capital for your Michigan cannabis business. Although start-up costs for a cannabis business can be significant, careful planning and the right team can make it a huge success. New Leaf can help you craft a detailed plan and get it into the hands of investors.
  9. Write and submit your Michigan cannabis business application. Depending on type of license, applicants may need to write and submit the following documentation:
  • Business Plan and Financials
  • Corporate Structuring
  • Safety and Security Plan
  • Location Information
  • Waste Disposal Procedures
  • Transportation and Distribution Plans
  • Employee, Staffing and Training Manuals
  • Regulatory and Compliance Plans
  • Quality Assurance and Control Plans
  • and much more!