Michigan officials start freeze on pot shops that don't comply with new rules

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The freeze on medical marijuana businesses that aren't in compliance with new state rules has begun.

Forty pot businesses that missed a deadline to apply for licenses under the state's new regulatory framework for marijuana were hand-delivered cease-and-desist letters yesterday, a Licensing and Regulatory Affairs spokesman says. The letters warn that if a business does not close, it may face law enforcement action or be denied a state license to operate in the future. LARA spokesman David Harns says he expects the department will issue hundreds of cease-and-desist letters to businesses in the coming days or weeks.

After new regulations took effect late last year, Michigan pot shops were granted a window in which to continue operating, so long as they applied for a state license by Feb. 15 and had local permission to stay in business. The businesses that met those requirements can now operate until a June 15 deadline by which their municipality will need to have adopted an ordinance in compliance with the state's Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act.

LARA field officers were accompanied by Michigan State Police when they delivered the notices to businesses yesterday. Harns said no products were seized from places that weren't in compliance with the rules. He would not say which businesses or cities had been affected or would be affected.

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