Article by Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press
More than 200 medical marijuana businesses across the state, most of them in Detroit, have received cease and desist letters from the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in the last two weeks, telling the owners to shut down or risk becoming ineligible for a license to continue operating or even be busted by law enforcement.
The list — 208 medical marijuana shops — includes 159 Detroit businesses and eight each in Lansing and Flint. Another five came from Gaylord and the rest are scattered across the state from Traverse City to Niles.
The business owners got the letters because the they hadn’t submitted an application to the state for a license yet and had no proof of approval from the communities where they were operating. As a result, the state deemed that they were operating illegally.
The list was derived from publicly available information, including websites such as weedmaps.com, said David Harns, spokesman for LARA. A quick round of phone calls Thursday to a dozen of the businesses on the list revealed recordings that the lines that had been disconnected.
“After the news of the first round of letters hit, we found a lot more had voluntarily closed before we got there,” Harns said. “We haven’t checked back to see if they’re all still operating, but we’ve had a number of businesses contact us to dispute that they’re operating illegally.”