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Roughly 50 medical marijuana facilities have been saved from the chopping block again.

A Michigan Court of Claims judge has halted the state’s most recent March 31 deadline for temporarily operating medical marijuana facilities to either obtain a license or close their doors.

The order from Judge Stephen Borrello is the most recent in a string of overturned deadlines that has kept temporarily operating facilities waiting on a license open for more than a year.

About 50 temporarily operating medical marijuana facilities that had submitted license applications to the state by Feb. 15, 2018, but were still waiting on approvals from the state licensing board risked receiving cease-and-desist letters and possible sanctions in the licensing process if they continued operating past Sunday.

But Borrello’s decision appears to have lifted that threat.

In a series of six orders Thursday and Friday, Borrello issued temporary restraining orders on the state in cases linked to six different provisioning centers that had asked the judge to stay the state’s hand. The decisions apply to the facilities in those cases and “other similarly situated” facilities.

Not only do the medical marijuana facilities have a "likelihood of success" and could suffer harm by closure, the public also could be harmed by the state's actions, the judge wrote. 

“This order shall remain in full force and effect until this court specifically orders otherwise,” Borrello wrote.

In a statement Friday, the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation said it was aware of the Borrello's decision and "until further order of the court, BMR will maintain the status quo and not enforce the March 31 deadline with respect to both temporary operating facilities and caregiver products."

Some licensed medical marijuana provisioning centers had been stockpiling caregiver product ahead of Sunday's deadline since it also would have barred the provisioning centers from buying additional untested product directly from the caregivers. The state's resolution would have allowed the provisioning centers to sell the untested product they had on hand with a patient waiver, but require other caregiver product to enter the market at the growing and processing stage so that it could be tested.

Licensed facilities have been supplementing their supplies with caregiver product because of a shortage in the licensed market as newly licensed growers and processors came up to speed.

eleblanc@detroitnews.com

(517) 371-3661

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