politics

State: Fingerprints, background checks for pot shops

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Lansing — The state issued new guidance Thursday on what information medical marijuana dispensaries need to submit in their applications for a state permit.

People applying for a state license to legally operate a medical marijuana dispensary or shop will need to submit to a criminal and financial background check, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. They will also have to submit fingerprints, let LARA review their history of “regulation and taxation compliance” and any lawsuits in which their business may been ensnared.

A spokesman for the department, Jason Moon, said that background checks and fingerprinting are required by law. He said the state has required them in other regulatory areas in the past.

LARA previously encouraged medical marijuana dispensaries to voluntarily close on Dec. 15, when submissions for applications begin.

The department called continued operation of a dispensary after mid-December “a potential impediment to licensure,” although the department’s medical pot director, Andrew Brisbo, has said LARA will not ask State Police to crack down on dispensaries that disobey.

But a legislative proposal to keep them open in anticipation that law enforcement will start shuttering pot shops is moving forward in the state Senate anyway.

Applicants will also need to submit information showing they have been approved by local government to do business in the area, submit record keeping plans and information on staffing, marketing, inventory and security.

They’ll also have to show proof of insurance, detailed facility floor plans and other information.

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