Metrc: Accurate Tracking Tips from CRA

December 1, 2023:  To further assist licensees achieve compliance through accurate tracking, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency is providing guidance for a couple of issues found during compliance audits.

Notice to Cultivators, Producers and Sales Locations Re: Packaging Pre-rolls as Count-Based Products

If an item is pre-weighed and sold by the unit, the Metrc item category should be a count-based item. If an item is weighed just prior to sale, a weight-based category should be used.

Packages of raw pre-rolls should be created as Shake/Trim (prepackaged).

If the weight of a single pre-roll is 1 gram and the package is sold individually, then the unit weight should be 1 gram.

If the 1 gram pre-roll is sold in 5 packs, then the unit weight should be 5 grams.

It is important to check the unit weight of all items created before distribution to ensure it is accurate. Inaccurate unit weights can appear as oversales. For example: if the unit weight for a 1 gram pre-roll is inaccurately entered as 1oz, every time a sales location sells the 1 gram pre-roll the transaction amount will show 1oz. If a customer buys three 1 gram pre-rolls, the transaction will exceed the allowable limit of 2.5oz.

Notice to Sales Locations Re: Transaction Limit for Concentrate Products

Adult-use consumers may not purchase more than 15 grams of concentrate in a single transaction, which includes any combination of the following: inhalable compound concentrates (infused pre-rolls, moonrocks), concentrates (shatter, live resin) and vape carts.

The CRA will be auditing sales transactions in Metrc. Any retailers found to sell more than 15 grams of concentrate in a single transaction to adult-use consumers are in violation of R 420.506(3) and are at risk for disciplinary action.

Questions regarding the categorization and packaging of products in Metrc can be sent to CRA-Compliance@michigan.gov.

Questions regarding purchasing and transaction limits can be sent to CRA-Enforcement@michigan.gov.

CRA Announces New Social Equity Grant Program

November 30, 2023 – In order to further the development of the Cannabis Regulatory Agency’s Social Equity Program, following months of discussions with industry stakeholders and Social Equity Program participants, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) announced today the formation of the Social Equity Grant Program.

“Many of our social equity licensees have invested everything they have in their cannabis business, and they truly deserve this shot in the arm,” said CRA Executive Director Brian Hanna. “I’m excited to see how our licensees use these funds and the positive impact they can have on their employees and their communities.”

“I was honored to spearhead social equity funding in the state budget this year,” said Sen. Sarah Anthony (Lansing). “I know how important funding is for individuals who are participating in the cannabis industry but may not have the same resources as others. It is vital that we begin the process to help those who have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. These funds will go a long way in helping those in the social equity space grow their businesses and give back to their communities.”

Social Equity Grant Program funds must be spent in one or more of the following categories:

  • Funds spent on employee education may be used for an employee of the entity to take one or more classes or courses that are relevant to the entity’s business from an accredited institution.
  • Funds spent on business needs may be used towards compliance with licensing and regulatory statutes and rules.
  • Funds spent on community investment may be used on or donated to organizations, non-profits, and/or charities that positively impact the community in which the entity is located.

To be eligible to participate in the Social Equity Grant Program, entities must have a valid CRA-issued adult-use license, must currently have eligible Social Equity Program participants who have majority ownership of the entity, and must be a certified participant in the CRA’s Social Equity All-Star Program.

The application window for the 2024 Social Equity Grant Program runs from December 1, 2023 through January 26, 2024. The completed grant application must be received by the CRA via email no later than 5:00 pm on January 26, 2024. The application and instructions can be found on the CRA website.

Only one grant will be awarded per qualifying entity, regardless of how many licenses the entity has. Once it is determined how many applicants meet the criteria for approval, then each approved grantee will receive an equal share of the available one million grant dollars. [Example: 100 grantees = $10,000 per grantee.]

The CRA has scheduled an education session regarding the Social Equity Grant Program for Thursday, December 7th at 10:00 AM. The education session information is available on the CRA’s website and will also be available for replay as needed.

Social Equity Program licensees who are not yet participants in the CRA’s Social Equity All-Star Program should email CRA-SEGrants@michigan.gov for more information on how to participant in the program. This requirement must be met before a complete application will be considered for the Social Equity Grant Program.

Any questions regarding the Social Equity Grant Program should be sent to the CRA’s Social Equity Team via email: CRA-SEGrants@michigan.gov.

CRA Notifies Consumers of Voluntary Marijuana Product Recall for Sales Locations in Adrian and Gould City

November 20, 2023 – In the interest of public health and safety, Bloomfield Development Group Grow, LLC (AU-P-000308) – in coordination with the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) – is voluntarily recalling a limited number of marijuana-infused edibles. The recall bulletin can be located here.

The marijuana-infused edibles are being recalled because the producer could not provide evidence the product is homogeneous, and the product exceeds the maximum dose of 10mg of THC per serving. In the statewide monitoring system (Metrc), the product is spelled “Sweet Cheeks White Chocolate 10 pc” and as “Sweet Cheeks” on the product packaging.

The product was sold between the dates of 6/16/2023-10/17/2023 and has an expiration date of 5/5/2024.

Sweet Cheeks

The recall applies to the marijuana product sold at the following locations:

METRC TAG: 1A4050300032C81000002408
Endo (AU-R-000653)
307 E Beecher St, Adrian, MI 49221

METRC TAG: 1A4050300032C81000001360
Bloomfield Development Group Grow LLC (AU-R-001011)
17812 US HWY 2, Gould City, MI 49838

The above sales locations must display this recall notice on the sales floor, visible to all consumers, for 30 days from the date of this notice.

Consumers who have these products in their possession should return them to the marijuana sales location for proper disposal. Consumers who have experienced adverse reactions after using these products should report their symptoms and product use to their healthcare providers.

Consumers are encouraged to also report any adverse reactions to marijuana product to the CRA by completing this Adverse Reaction Form and submitting it according to the instructions included or by phone at 517-284-8599.

A licensee that becomes aware of any adverse reactions to a marijuana product must notify the CRA and enter the information into METRC within one business day.

Questions about this recall should be emailed to the CRA’s Operations Support Section at CRA-Compliance@michigan.gov. For more information about the CRA, please visit www.michigan.gov/CRA.

CRA Summarily Suspends the Processing Licenses of Michigan Investments 10 in Pinconning

Today, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) summarily suspended the medical and adult-use marijuana processor licenses of Michigan Investments 10, Inc., located at 772 E. Pinconning Rd., Pinconning, Michigan. The CRA determined that the safety or health of patrons or employees is jeopardized by Michigan Investments 10’s continued operation and that the public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action.

Michigan Investments 10 currently holds a medical processor license (PR-000165) under the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), and an adult-use marijuana processor license (AU-P-000171) under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). Following an investigation, the CRA determined that both businesses violated numerous administrative rules under the MRTMA and MMFLA.

The CRA discovered the alleged violations after the agency conducted onsite inspections and reviews of statewide monitoring system (Metrc) data. The CRA’s investigation revealed that the businesses incorrectly entered data in Metrc, failed to properly track large quantities of product in Metrc, had product that was missing Metrc tags and could not be traced to the legal market, and could not physically locate numerous products that were in their Metrc inventory.

The CRA’s complaints also allege that Michigan Investments 10 failed to follow proper sampling and testing procedures. Specifically, the CRA alleges that the businesses failed to produce proper quantities of product for sampling to be tested and failed to properly enter test results into Metrc. Further, product that was tested at different stages showed inconsistent results. The manager of the adult-use business admitted the business used product that failed testing to “circumvent testing” requirements.

While on-site, CRA agents observed that the businesses did not have properly locked and secured doors and that video surveillance was not fully functioning or located in the correct areas. Additionally, the CRA determined that the businesses were not properly monitoring waste areas and failed to provide standard operating procedures for waste upon request.

Further details can be found in formal complaints the CRA issued today against the adult-use license and the medical license.

The CRA also issued a public health and safety bulletin regarding the affected marijuana products in conjunction with the formal complaints and summary suspension orders. The affected products are marketed under the brand “Muha Meds” and consist of vape cartridges, infused pre-rolls, and gummies.

Cannabis Regulatory Agency Announces Programs to Support Michigan’s Veterans

In order to further support Michigan’s armed services veterans, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) announced today two new programs aimed at serving Michigan’s veteran population.

Task Force 1620 – a program that recognizes CRA licensees that have programming set up for safe and affordable cannabis access for veterans – and the Veteran Recognition Program – which will recognize veteran-owned cannabis businesses in Michigan – will help the CRA provide support to veterans who call Michigan home.

“This is personal to me,” said CRA Executive Director Brian Hanna, who served as a captain in the US Army Reserve from 2006 through 2012 and earned the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Action Badge for his 2010-2011 deployment to Afghanistan. “I understand the struggles that my fellow veteran brothers and sisters go through after returning to civilian life. Many veterans have told me that cannabis helps their PTSD symptoms and allows them to work and live without having to rely on powerful, addictive painkillers. These new programs will assist Michigan’s veterans by connecting them with cannabis retailers who are willing to assist.”

“As a disabled veteran, I commend the CRA’s commitment to Michigan’s veterans,” said Anton Harb Jr., an Iraq combat veteran and founder of the Veteran Access Program in Michigan. “Support for veterans was a key component of the ballot proposal when Michigan voters legalized cannabis in 2018, and I’m proud to see our state leading the country, once again, by providing these programs to our veterans.”

Task Force 1620

Licensees who have implemented a veteran access program that offers cannabis to veterans at a 75-100% discounted rate are eligible to participate in the CRA’s new Task Force 1620 program.

Retailers in Task Force 1620 will have complete flexibility regarding the details of their veteran access program and may set their own parameters on all aspects, including:

  • The max amount donated/given per veteran
  • What percentage of disability qualifies a veteran for their program
  • What amount per week/month will be donated
  • The number of veterans in their program

Licensees who are approved to participate in Task Force 1620 will have their business information and veteran access program published on the CRA webpage. They will also receive a seal to display at their facility.

The Task Force 1620 program is available to businesses licensed under the Medical Marijuana Facility Licensing Act (MMFLA) and the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA). To participate in Task Force 1620, a licensee’s business does not need to be majority-owned by a veteran.

To be a part of Task Force 1620, businesses should apply on the CRA website. Questions regarding the Task Force 1620 program should be emailed to CRA-SocialEquity@michigan.gov.

Veteran Recognition Program

The CRA’s new Veteran Recognition Program (VRP) will recognize those CRA-licensed businesses which are majority-owned by veterans of the US armed forces. When a business is approved to be part of the VRP, it will receive a recognition letter and seal from the CRA. The ownership structure provided to licensing during the application/amendment process will be used to determine the percentage of veteran ownership. Approved licensees will have their business name and license number listed on the CRA’s website.

This program is available to businesses licensed under the Medical Marijuana Facility Licensing Act (MMFLA) and the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA).

To apply to be a part of the Veteran Recognition Program, businesses should apply on the CRA website. Questions regarding the Veteran Recognition Program should be emailed to CRA-SocialEquity@michigan.gov.

MI Social Equity Program – MMMP Caregiver Discount Eligibility Update from CRA

The Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) has announced an update to the caregiver criteria portion of the Social Equity Program which will allow caregivers an expanded opportunity to qualify for the fee reduction while also bringing it into alignment with the retention and disposal schedule established by the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program.

As per the new criteria, beginning October 1, 2023, an individual must have at least two years of caregiver experience – as a registered primary caregiver under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act – in the last five years to qualify for the 10% caregiver fee reduction.

Participants in the Social Equity Program who are already receiving the 10% caregiver fee reduction will continue to be eligible for the fee reduction as long as their Social Equity eligibility status continues to be renewed. These changes will only affect those who are seeking the fee reduction for the first time.

For questions regarding the Social Equity Program, please email CRA-SocialEquity@michigan.gov or contact the CRA’s social equity team by phone at 517-284-8599.

Ex-House Speaker Rick Johnson sentenced to 55 months in federal prison for taking bribes

This story was reprinted with permission from Crain’s Detroit and written by David Eggert.

Former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson was sentenced to 55 months in federal prison Thursday for taking at least $110,200 worth of bribes, including lobbyist-funded sex with a prostitute, while he chaired the state’s nascent medical marijuana licensing board.

Johnson, 70, of LeRoy, Michigan, helped the bribe payers — a Detroit-area businessman and two Lansing-based lobbyists — by assisting their companies and clients through the process, providing confidential information about the five-member board’s work and that of other applicants, and ultimately voting to approve the applications. In return, he accepted no fewer than 38 cash payments between June 2017 and February 2019, a $20,000 “loan,” $2,000 worth of sex with a woman in the adult entertainment industry and two trips on private jets to meet with Canadian investors in a company seeking licensure. The flights were valued at $8,200.

U.S. District Judge Jane Beckering sentenced Johnson in Grand Rapids, two weeks after she sentenced 71-year-old John Dawood Dalaly of West Bloomfield to 28 months. Johnson, Dalaly and lobbyists Vincent Brown of Royal Oak and Brian Pierce of Midland pleaded guilty in April and agreed to cooperate as part of deals. That suggested more people could be charged, though no one else has been to date.

Johnson “corrupted the process for the state’s issuance of licenses for businesses to operate in a new and lucrative industry,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing this month in which they asked for a sentence of at least six years and a $110,200 fine.

“Those who were denied a license by the (Medical Marijuana Licensing Board) now may wonder whether they had a fair and equal opportunity to compete in the industry. Law-abiding qualified applicants who did not have the ultimate insider ‘on the take’ may have struggled with understanding and navigating what became a tedious and lengthy application and approval process,” assistant U.S. attorneys Christopher O’Connor and Clay Stiffler wrote. “At the very least, although the government has no evidence that Johnson’s receipt of bribe payments prevented other qualified applicants from ultimately obtain licenses, Johnson’s crime has significantly damaged the trust that law-abiding citizens placed in his work as MMLB Chair and in state government.”

Johnson’s lawyer, Nicholas Dondzila, had recommended leniency, urging the judge to take into account factors such as his “substantial and material assistance” to investigators, others’ support for him, his public service and lack of a prior criminal history.

Johnson, a Republican, was House speaker from 2001 through 2004 before being term-limited. He was a partner in a multi-client firm in Lansing with Democratic former House Speaker Lou Dodak — Dodak Johnson & Associates — and was named to the newly created licensing board in 2017 by then-Gov. Rick Snyder after dropping his lobbying registration.

The appointment was controversial because Johnson had worked on the legislation to regulate medical marijuana but claimed he had no paying clients. He also had been negotiating the sale of his stake in the firm to Pierce, a marijuana industry lobbyist who had worked on the bills as a legislative staffer, before later selling it to Dodak, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Pierce and Brown will be sentenced Oct. 18.

CRA Publishes Michigan’s Marijuana Industry Voluntary and Involuntary Exclusion Lists

In order to promote continued transparency with Michigan’s cannabis industry stakeholders, the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) has created and made public the marijuana industry voluntary and involuntary lists. These lists are now available on the CRA website and include individuals excluded from participating in the licensed marijuana industry in Michigan.

Individuals may be excluded from employment at, or participation in, a marijuana business and added to the involuntary exclusion list pursuant to the administrative rules. Individuals may voluntarily exclude themselves from employment at, or participating in a marijuana business, by signing a Consent Order and Stipulation (COS) to resolve disciplinary action the CRA has initiated against them.

It is vital that licensees screen prospective employees, supplemental applicants, and owners against the exclusion lists as they are prohibited from employing excluded individuals or allowing them to be supplemental applicants on a license.

Michigan’s marijuana industry exclusion lists – both voluntary and involuntary – can be found on the CRA website under the Disciplinary Actions page.

Michigan Cannabis Sales Set a Monthly Record in June 2023

Michigan cannabis sales rose 6.0% in June from the longer May to a record $260.8 million. On a per-day basis, sales grew 8.8%. The growth of 39.2% from a year ago was up from the 31.9% level last month:

The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency breaks out sales by medical and adult-use, with medical sales falling 69.1% from a year ago to $6.6 million, down 5.8% sequentially, and adult-use sales expanding 53.2% year-over-year to $254.2 million, up 6.4% sequentially:

The state breaks out sales by category and provides pricing detail by category, for both medical and adult-use:

MEDICAL/MMFLA CANNABIS SALES

ADULT USE CANNABIS SALES

As supply continues to expand, flower pricing for adult-use has seen a dramatic decline. In May, the average price of $1428 per pound fell sequentially, losing 1.5% and falling 27.1% from a year ago:

Michigan cannabis sales expanded 82.1% in 2021 to $1.79 billion and were up 27.9% in 2022 at $2.29 billion. So far in 2023, sales have grown 38.5% compared to the first six months of 2022. The program should continue to expand ahead as supply becomes more available and as distribution expands.