LANSING – Certain businesses will be permitted to transfer marijuana products on the medical side to the recreational side, the state said Wednesday, meaning limited recreational sales are likely to happen in a little over two weeks.

Without allowing the transfer of some product, recreational sales would not have occurred until March or April of 2020. Recreational sales are limited to adults 21 and older.

In a bulletin to license holders on Wednesday, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency said those holding equivalent licenses – with common ownership – on the medical and recreational side can transfer from medical to recreational.

This will apply to growers, processors and provisioning centers and retailers. They will have to have a license on both the medical and recreational side to transfer product.

Provisioning centers transferring to retailers on the recreational side can transfer up to 50 percent of each product type, though it must have been in inventory for at least 30 days.

Growers may transfer up to 50 percent of their harvest batch and processors may transfer up to 50 percent of their finished product. All product being transferred must pass testing requirements.

While marijuana flower is in high demand, non-flower products like edibles “are currently in abundance,” said David Harns, spokesperson for the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

“This approach will allow for a transition to the adult use market as we estimate that there will be around a dozen or so licensees who would be eligible on December 1,” Harns said. “Similar to the medical market, we expect it be a slow build out as the production of plants and products increases. This will create an environment where businesses can supply the market as quickly as possible.”

Harns said the agency watched how the medical supply was looking and asked how it could best allow access to the recreational market. He said keeping the transfer limited to 50 percent of product will keep production and sales moving on the medical side as well.

“There is definitely demand in both the medical and adult-use markets and we want to provide a mechanism for businesses to provide products where the demand exists,” he said. “This will limit the appeal of illicit-market marijuana.”

This story was published by Gongwer News Service.