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Building a Cannabis Dispensary in Michigan

MI Cannabis Legal Status: Medical and Recreational Sales are Legal

The primary governing body that regulates Michigan cannabis dispensary construction is the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency. The goal of the MRA is to establish Michigan as the national model for a regulatory program that stimulates business growth while preserving safe consumer access to marijuana. Construction is also governed by the local municipal building department.

Michigan State

Marijuana Business License Applications

The Detroit City Council unanimously passed an amended ordinance on 11/24/20 to allow adult-use recreational sales in the city of Detroit.

A legacy program has been announced to help Detroiters who have been longtime residents of the city take advantage the opportunity to obtain a dispensary license.

Legacy applications will receive at least 50% of all newly created recreational marijuana business licenses issued for retailers, growers, processors, microbusinesses and marijuana event organizers.

Important Update on Detroit Recreational Marijuana Licenses

The city’s Civil Rights, Employment and Opportunities (CRIO) department will begin certifying applications from legacy Detroiters starting 1/19/21. Detroit residents who have lived in the city for 15 of the last 30 years, 13 of the last 30 years if they’re low-income or 10 of the last 30 years if they have a marijuana conviction or have a parent with a marijuana conviction are eligible to apply. Legacy Detroiters can start the CRIO application even if their state pre-qualification has not been approved. 

The city will start reviewing applications from those who don’t meet the requirements for the legacy program starting 6/16/21.

Beginning on 5/1/21, the city will start issuing up to 75 licenses to operate recreational marijuana dispensaries in the city, which amounts to roughly one dispensary for every 2 square miles.

Those interested in obtaining a license would benefit from seeking pre-qualification from the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency as soon as possible. The state process takes two to three months.

There is typically a $6,000 application fee, but Detroit residents with lower incomes can get a significant discount. 

Legacy Detroiters can seek a business license through the city’s Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department (BSEED) starting 4/1/21. The application fee for a business license is $1,000 but it will only cost legacy Detroiters $10. 

Applicants can also receive a 75% discount on city-owned property to operate their business. The city plans to launch a website in early 2021 listing available properties but those interested in seeking information today can email city manager Jill Bryant at [email protected].

All applicants can obtain a provisional license for one year if they have not finalized the address for their business. Provisional licenses will remain valid until the city has issued 75 licenses.

The city’s webpage on detroitmeansbusiness.org explains the process for applying for a recreational marijuana license.

Security Requirements

The MRA requires a Michigan cannabis dispensary to have a video surveillance system that consists of digital or network video recorders, cameras capable of meeting the recording requirements in this rule, video monitors, digital archiving devices, and a color printer capable of delivering still photos. 

Michigan Cannabis Dispensary Recommended Video Surveillance:

The video surveillance system must record, at a minimum, the following areas:

  • Any areas where cannabis products are weighed, packed, stored, loaded, and unloaded for transportation, prepared, or moved within the marihuana establishment;
  • Limited access areas and security rooms; 
  • Areas between rooms where transfers of cannabis occur;
  • Areas storing a surveillance system storage device with not less than 1 camera recording the access points to the secured surveillance recording area;
  • The entrances and exits to the building must be recorded from both indoor and outdoor vantage points. 
  • The areas of entrance and exit between marihuana establishments at the same location if applicable, including any transfers between cannabis establishments;
  • Point of sale areas where cannabis products are sold and displayed for sale; and
  • Anywhere cannabis or marihuana products are destroyed. 

The cannabis dispensary video surveillance cameras must record at all times with a minimum of 720p resolution. Each camera should be permanently mounted in a fixed location. 

Security cameras must be placed to allow the camera to clearly record activity occurring within 20 feet of all points of entry and exit of the marijuana establishment and allow for the clear and certain identification of any person, including facial features, and activities, including sales or transfers, in all areas required to be recorded.

Surveillance cameras which record continuously 24 hours per day and recorded images must clearly and accurately display the time and date.

The cannabis dispensary must secure the physical media or storage device on which surveillance recordings are stored in a manner to protect the recording from tampering or theft. 

Surveillance recordings must be maintained for a minimum of 30 days, except in instances of investigation or inspection by the agency in which case the licensee shall retain the recordings until the time as the agency notifies the licensee that the recordings may be destroyed. 

The video surveillance system must be equipped with a failure notification system that provides notification to the licensee of any interruption or failure of the video surveillance system or video surveillance system storage device.

Michigan Cannabis Dispensary Recommended Security Requirements:

Cannabis dispensary construction must take into account the safety requirements which are different for a dispensary than other retail establishments. The MRA states that that a provisioning center shall have a separate room that is dedicated as the point of sale area for the transfer or sale of cannabis. The dispensary shall keep cannabis products behind a counter or other barrier to ensure a consumer in the store does not have direct access to the cannabis products. And all areas where cannabis is stored such as the workroom and vault must be limited and restricted access areas with only designated employees having access.


In a Michigan dispensary, the cannabis must be stored in a secure room for overnight storage. Typical cannabis dispensary construction utilizes a vault type method of construction: the walls, floors, and ceilings of the vault are typically constructed of at least eight (8) inches of reinforced concrete or other substantial masonry, reinforced vertically and horizontally with one-half (1⁄2) inch steel rods tied six (6) inches on center, or the structural equivalent to such reinforced walls, floors, and ceilings. Alternate methods of metal stud framing and barrier mesh is allowed under certain circumstances. 

The door and frame unit of which vault shall have thirty (30) man-minutes against surreptitious entry, ten (10) man- minutes against forced entry, twenty (20) man-hours against lock manipulation, and twenty (20) man-hours against radiological techniques;

The vault, if operations require it to remain open for frequent access, shall be equipped with a “day-gate” which is self-closing and self-locking, or the equivalent, for use during the hours of operation in which the vault door is open


Authorized on-premises storage. A dispensing organization must store inventory on its premises. All inventory stored on the premises must be secured in a restricted access area and tracked consistently with the inventory tracking rules. 

A dispensary shall be of suitable size and construction to facilitate cleaning, maintenance, and proper operations. 

A dispensary shall maintain adequate lighting, ventilation, temperature, humidity control, and equipment. 

Containers storing cannabis that have been tampered with, damaged, or opened shall be labeled with the date opened and quarantined from other cannabis products in the vault until they are disposed. 

Cannabis that was tampered with, expired, or damaged shall not be stored at the premises for more than 7 calendar days. 

Cannabis samples shall be in a sealed container. Samples shall be maintained in the restricted access area. 

The dispensary storage areas shall be maintained in accordance with the security requirements in this Act and rules. 

Cannabis must be stored at appropriate temperatures and under appropriate conditions to help ensure that its packaging, strength, quality, and purity are not adversely affected.

Zoning Law

Michigan cannabis dispensary zoning regulations are governed by Sec. 18-404 – Medical Marijuana Facility Requirements. These are minimal requirements and each township and city will typically approve a cannabis dispensary with their own zoning regulations and buffers, many times must more restrictive.

A cannabis dispensary shall be located in a building only within the M-1 or M-2 zoning districts as set forth in Center Line’s Zoning Ordinance, subject to the following conditions and set- backs:

A Michigan cannabis dispensary must be 200 feet or more from of any residential zoning district or existing residential dwelling used for medical marijuana.

A Michigan cannabis dispensary must be 400 feet or more from any school, including childcare or day care facility, to ensure community compliance with Federal “Drug-Free School Zone” requirements.

A Michigan cannabis dispensary must be 200 feet or more from the property line of any church, house of worship or other religious facility or institution.

A Michigan cannabis dispensary must be 200 feet or more from of any public park, publicly owned building or recreational area commonly used by minor children.

Local building inspectors will inspect that all building code requirements and standard life safety items have been satisfactorily met in the cannabis dispensary and the MRA will inspect that the dispensary-specific requirements have been met such as proper surveillance, online monitoring, and required vault construction among other items. Dispensary construction will only be 100% complete after both final inspections are approved by both agencies.

Dispensary State News

There is currently no limit on how many cannabis dispensary licenses are available in Michigan. Michigan allowed 43 new dispensary licenses in the first two months that recreational marijuana was legal between Dec 1, 2019 and Feb 2, 2020. 

However, many cities and townships have voted to opt out of adult use cannabis and therefore have not approved cannabis dispensaries in their town. The majority of dispensaries seem to be in clusters where counties and towns have opened their doors to recreational cannabis.

Building Code

Building a dispensary in Michigan is subject to both local municipal building inspections, which follows the universal building code and also final inspections by the MRA to ensure compliance with state regulations. The final Michigan cannabis dispensary building inspections are done through the local municipal building department, but operation approval also must pass inspection by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

Local building inspectors will inspect that all building code requirements and standard life safety items have been satisfactorily met in the cannabis dispensary and the MRA will inspect that the dispensary-specific requirements have been met such as proper surveillance, online monitoring, and required vault construction among other items. Dispensary construction will only be 100% complete after both final inspections are approved by both agencies.

Michigan Cannabis
Trade Associations

Michigan Cannabis Industry Association (MICIA)

“The MICIA is the leading voice for Michigan’s legal cannabis businesses. The MICIA advocates for responsible and successful medical and adult use cannabis industry by promoting sensible laws and regulations and industry best practices among members.”

Contact: [email protected]

Cannabis News – Active Dispensaries


Kinship Parma – 2199 N. Concord, Albion MI 49224

Ann Arbor

Arbors Wellness – 321 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor MI 48104

Cloud Cannabis – 1760 Plymouth Road Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Greenstone – 338 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor MI 48104

Green Planet Patient Collective – 700 Tappan Ave, Ann Arbor MI 48104

Herbology – 2732 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor MI 48103

Bloom City Club – 423 Miller Ave, Ann Arbor MI 48103

Mission Ann Arbor – 111 S. Main St. Suite 1, Ann Arbor MI 48104

Ann Arbor Healing – 3720 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor MI 48104

Green Peak Innovations/Skymint – 1958 South Industrial Hwy Suite A and B, Ann Arbor MI 48104

Exclusive Provisioning Centers – 3820 Varsity Drive, Ann Arbor MI 48108


The Green Door Bangor – 126 W. Monroe Street, Bangor MI 49013

Battle Creek

Battle Creek Provisioning – 1525 W. Michigan Avenue Suite 11 & 13, Battle Creek MI 49013

Battle Spring – 2245 W. Columbia Suite 119 & 120, Battle Creek MI 49015

Bay City

Dank on Arrival – 3650 Patterson Rd, Bay City MI 48706

Euclid, LLC – 3843 N. Euclid Ave, Bay City MI 48706

Puff Cannabis Company – 1680 Marquette St., Bay City MI 48706

Nature’s Medicines – 3480 E. North Union Rd, Bay City MI 48706

Roots – 3557 Wilder Road, Bay City MI 48706


Great Lakes Natural Remedies Inc. -1983 Benzie Hwy, Benzonia MI 49616


Breedsville Provision Center – 77 E. Main Street, Breedsville MI 49027


Nature’s ReLeaf – 4086 South Dort Hwy, Burton MI 48529

The Barn – 3491 E. Bristol Rd, Burton MI 48529


Releaf Center for Compassionate Care – 144 Broad St., Chesaning MI 48616


Freddie’s LLC – 10092 N Dort Hwy Suite B, Clio MI 48420


Lit Provisioning Centers/Lume Cannabis Co. – 600 West 7th Street, Evart MI 49631


Common Citizen – 310 S. Averill Ave., Flint MI 48506

Skymint  – 4405 W Pierson Rd, Flint, MI 48504

Grand Rapids

3Fifteen Cannabis – 2900 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

3Fifteen Cannabis – 3423 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Fluresh Cannabis Provisioning Center – 1213 Phillips Ave SW Grand Rapids MI 49507

Gage Cannabis Co. – 3075 Peregrine Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

Michigan Supply & Provisions – 2741 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Pharmhouse Wellness – 831 Wealthy St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Quality Roots – 2024 Caniff St Hamtramck, MI 48212


Lume Cannabis Co. – 9899 Honor Highway, Honor MI 49640


The Flower Bowl – 28661 Michigan Ave, Inkster MI 48141


20 Past 4 – 3590 Ann Arbor Road, Jackson MI 49202

Choice Labs – 3331 Page Ave, Jackson MI 49203

Jackson Crossing

Lume Cannabis Co. – 1512 N. West Ave. Jackson Crossing MI 49202


Michigan Supply and Provisions – 1096 E. Main St Suite A, Morenci MI 49256

Pinnacle Emporium – 1098 East Main Suite 1 & 2, Morenci MI 49256

Remedii – 989 East Main Street, Morenci MI 49526

Mount Morris

Elite Wellness – 9423 N. Dort Highway, Mt. Morris MI 48458


Bella Sol Wellness Centers of Michigan – 1839 Peck St Suite B, Muskegon MI 49441

Park Place Provisionary – 1922 Park St Suite A, Muskegon MI 49441


The Fire Station – 162 Heritage Dr, Negaunee MI 49866


Releaf Center to Compassionate Care – 1840 Terminal Rd Suite A, Niles MI 49120


Green Acres Wellness Center – 4700 N Huron Rd, Pinconning MI 4865

Essence Collective – 759 E Pinconning Road, Pinconning MI 48650


Green Tree Relief – 124 South Main Street, Reading MI 49274

River Rouge

1st Quality Medz – 286 Burke St, River Rouge MI 48218

Herbology – 11392 West Jefferson Ave, River Rouge MI 48218

Rogers City

Meds Cafe – 2352 South US 23, Rogers City MI 49779


Aim High Meds – 15776 M-60 Hwy, Teknonsha MI 49092

Walled Lake

Green House of Walled Lake – 103 E Walled Lake Dr, Walled Lake MI 48390

White Cloud

White River Wellness – 194 N Charles St, White Cloud MI 49349