Imagine living a life where you must endure seizures nearly every couple minutes and usually during sleep. Doesn’t sound like much of a life.
But this how it was for one Onaway, Michigan, resident when her epilepsy was at its worst. Doctors prescribed medications, but she was never free from the seizures.
Then she met an amazing caregiver who tinkered with a low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil that immediately lessened her seizures. At this point, she’s been free of seizures for nine months.
She calls this caregiver her guardian angel. His name is Ben Kosala and he now has plans to open the first Michigan marijuana microbusiness in November.
What Is a Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness?
Kosala, 33, never imagined he’d go into the marijuana business when he first started planting seeds back in 2009. But eleven years later, he can proudly say he’s the first in the state to be granted a microbusiness license.
What does that mean though?
Well, consider the microbrewery. Back in the early days of craft beer, if you wanted, say, a Dragon’s Milk from New Holland Brewery, you had to drive to the microbrewery in Holland, Michigan. It wasn’t available in every other grocery or liquor store like it is now.
A marijuana microbusiness works in much the same way. The special license allows for a purely vertically-integrated cannabusiness where the product is grown, processed, and sold at only that single retail location. A microbusiness is a stand alone business that can’t intermingle with other aspects of the recreational market.
Kosala is preparing to open at a tiny 500-square-foot storefront in an industrial park. And the locals are thrilled.
A Passionate Caregiver
Kosala started growing so he could provide himself medicine. Soon, he was helping others. And before he knew it, he was looking into how he could use his skills, as well as his knowledge and love of cannabis to become a caregiver.
His medical marijuana patient list maxed out at six patients and he grew a maximum of 72 plants. Yet, he began to have a sense that the caregiver network wouldn’t last forever. And he was right.
While state regulators initially allowed caregivers to sell their excess medical marijuana to licensed businesses, there’s a plan in place to eliminate caregiver product entirely from licensed markets this month.
Getting Approved for a Michigan Marijuana Microbusiness
Kosala approached the Onaway City Council a year ago to get approval to open a marijuana microbusiness in the 800-resident town.
Before deciding to apply, he had to determine whether microbusinesses were even allowed by the municipality. At the moment, municipalities fall into one of three categories.
A “prohibited” municipality is one that has, at least for now, opted out. And “allowed” municipality allows for the municipality to limit the number of businesses within its boundaries, including microbusinesses. There’s specific information about zoning districts and distance requirements.
Finally, a “no decision” municipality hasn’t officially opted out to become prohibited. So it is possible to open a microbusiness there. Interested parties are encouraged to be open and transparent to ensure that they’re able to find the right location allows them to acquire a microbusiness license there.
The town of Onaway passed a new ordinance in October of 2019 to allow the business.
The microbusiness license is actually a conglomeration of various license functions. It allows growers to cultivate up to 150 plants, process the harvest, and sell the resulting products in their own storefront.
Well, if you’re considering this route, know that it’s a major investment. For Kosala, the application and licensing fees alone were $19,000. He invested a couple hundred thousand dollars beyond that.
Kosala is certain he’ll be able to operate a successful commercial business. At this point, he has plans to add on an extract lab to produce extractions for edibles. Most of all, he says he wants to focus on the “sale of consistent, quality, top-shelf craft cannabis.”
The medical marijuana patients who gave him his start also believe in Kosala and the success of his venture. And he’s committed to keep helping them through it.
As for the woman who’s been blissfully free from seizures for nine months? She’s finally able to drive again. “It’s probably the best thing that’s happened to me,” she says.
It’s hard to argue that endorsement.
Do You Currently Have a Cannabis Business?
If so, you may have your sights set on acquiring your own Michigan marijuana microbusiness some day.
Some of that will be contingent on the success of your current business though. So if you feel that your marketing and public relations efforts aren’t paying off, then contact us.
We specialize in the cannabis sector and know exactly how to help you stand out from the rest.