Cannabis Business News

January Cannabis News Round-Up

February 4, 2022

January has given us a heap of snow, as well as a round of cannabis business news to plow into, such as amendments to insurance requirements, an annual report on the cannabis industry, and a public hearing on proposed hemp rule changes.

To help you stay on top of any big cannabis news for Michigan, we collected what we feel cannabis business owners and stakeholders need to be aware of, so you don’t have to spend your time searching out information that matters to you and your business.

Survey Reveals Challenges in Cannabis Industry

The results of the Whitney Economics U.S. Cannabis Business Conditions Survey were released by the National Cannabis Industry Association on Jan. 31, the first in a planned series of surveys that will be deployed quarterly directly to cannabis operators across the United States.

It has been developed to understand and measure operator sentiment and business conditions across the U.S. cannabis industries, according to the report.

Whitney Economics developed the survey of cannabis operators and ancillary businesses starting in October 2021 to establish a baseline of data and get their take on the state of the cannabis industry.

There was a total of 396 participants from 20 states, including Michigan. Respondents were all licensed cannabis businesses or ancillary businesses.

Besides overall sentiment in the industry, the survey sought data on:

  • Overall Profitability
  • Mature Markets vs. Emerging Markets
  • Operator Confidence
  • Profitability and Gender
  • Profitability and Race

Findings revealed that only 42% of respondents were turning a profit and the concerns of the industry are weighing heavier on the minds of operators than are the successes.

Other takeaways from the survey:

  • While 58% of businesses overall are not making a profit (either breaking even or losing money), 62.5% of female-run businesses are not turning a profit and 67.8% of BIPOC businesses are not turning a profit
  • 72% of respondents stated that access to banking and other financial services was the top issue facing them
  • Smaller operators are struggling both from competition from the illicit market and big businesses looking to consolidate the market
  • The lack of a unified tax policy is creating strain on business operators 
  • Business owners are proud of their accomplishments over the past year, from increasing opportunities for women and minorities, to doing more for their workers and educating an ever-increasing clientele

Whitney Economics is a global initiative based in Oregon that collects data and builds economic models for hemp and cannabis cultivation, processing, investment, manufacturing, regulation, and legislation. 

New Laws Amend MMFLA Insurance Requirements

Governor Whitmer signed Public Act 160 of 2021 and Public Act 161 of 2021, which amend the requirements for proof of financial responsibility insurance for licensees and applicants of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA).

Specifically, state law now requires:

  • A licensed insurance company or captive insurance company to issue the policy
  • Policies to omit any provisions relieving an insurer from liability for payment of any claim for which the insured may be held liable
  • Insurance policies to cover bodily injuries to a qualifying patient, including those caused by the intentional conduct of the licensee or its employee or agent

Although the insurance policy is required to cover bodily injuries to a qualifying patient, it is not required to cover bodily injuries to qualifying patients caused by the licensee or its employee or agent when acting with the intent to harm.

For more specifics on the laws, visit,, or

Public Hearing on Proposed Hemp Rule Changes

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announce plans to hold a public hearing to receive public comments on proposed changes to the Industrial Hemp Rules for Marihuana Business rule set 2021-92 LR at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 16.

The proposed changes are intended to improve clarity for those working in the medical and adult use markets.

The rule set implements, administers, and enforces appropriate and updated standards for marihuana businesses and associated equipment and establishes regulations ensuring the safety, security, and integrity of the operation of marihuana businesses in relation to industrial hemp.

Comments on these proposed rules may be made at the hearing, by mail, or by electronic mail at the following addresses until 5 p.m. Feb. 16:

  • Marijuana Regulatory Agency – Attention: MRA-Legal PO BOX 30205, Lansing, Michigan 48909

The public hearing will be conducted at 2407 North Grand River Avenue, Lansing. Anyone needing assistance to take part in the hearing due to disability may call (517) 242-9262 for arrangements.

The proposed rules will take effect immediately after filing with the Secretary of State. The proposed rules are published on the State of Michigan’s website.