The board in charge of medical marijuana in Michigan would be dissolved and a new one regulating medical and recreational weed would replace it, under an executive order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

The Governor signed the order Friday abolishing the volunteer board put in place in 2016 by the republican lawmakers and former Governor Rick Snyder.

One marijuana trade organization, the Great Lakes Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (GLCCOC) is happy with the action and applauds the Governor’s order, which creates the Marijuana Regulatory Agency and abolishes the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation and Marihuana Licensing Board.

“The newly-formed agency structure will significantly streamline the licensing process.  Ensuring that all cannabis businesses are properly licensed and regulated is an integral step in protecting the health and safety of consumers.  This move enables the highly qualified regulators at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to fully utilize their skills and expertise and make Michigan the leader in this field.  This executive order will aid the enactment of a regulatory framework for adult use marijuana.  As Michigan’s licensed cannabis industry grows, having both programs under one roof at LARA allows for streamlined implementation of a structure that simultaneously promotes business growth and consumer safety.”

The action comes as the volunteer board has been criticized for being unable or unwilling to consider license applications in a timely manner.  That caused caused problems with the already up-and-running medical marijuana market.

A new agency within the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs - the Marijuana Regulatory Agency - will take over licensing, handling licenses for both the medical and the recreational markets. Under the executive order, the board will be abolished effective April 30.

State lawmakers could veto the order, as they did with one changing the boards that oversee water quality issues in Michigan. But this time, the Governor gave the leadership a heads-up before issuing the order.