- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Commercial marijuana sales are expected to start imminently in Michigan after state regulators issued their first recreational licenses Tuesday.

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued its first five recreational licenses, setting the state for adults 21 and older to legally purchase retail pot as soon as next month.

Voters in Michigan legalized the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana in 2008 and 2018, respectively, making the state among the majority to pass laws defying federal prohibition. Seven of those states currently allow retail dispensaries to operate, and Michigan is currently set to soon become the eighth.

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Among the recipients of the regulatory agency’s first licenses is Exclusive Brand, an Ann Arbor-based company that is already authorized by Michigan to grow and sell marijuana for medicinal purposes. The new licenses allow the company to grow, process and sell recreational marijuana as well.

Regulators announced last week that licensed medical marijuana dispensaries would be able to sell up to half of their product to recreational customers if and when they are authorized to start commercial sales.

The executive director of Exclusive Brands said he expects to start recreational sales as soon as next month.

“We will be ready to go Dec. 1 as an operation, and we’re going to work closely with our vendors to make that happen,” said Mr. Warra, The Detroit News reported.

Other recreational marijuana licenses issued Tuesday went to Real Leaf Solutions, the recipient of an event organizer license, and PSI Labs, which received a testing license, The News added.

A total of 33 states and D.C. have passed laws legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana in spite of the plant being federally prohibited and considered a controlled substance. Eleven of those states and D.C. have passed separate laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, though licensed retail dispensaries currently only operate in seven: Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state.

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