FILE - recreational marijuana, cannabis, dispensary

Michiganders over the age of 21 will be able to buy recreational marijuana as soon as Dec. 1.

That's according to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA), which said in a news release that the state will allow growers, processors or provisioning centers to transfer up to 50 percent of their medical marijuana inventory, which has already been tested, to recreational sales as long as that business has a recreational marijuana license and the transfer is tracked in the statewide monitoring system (METC).

The marijuana transfer will last until the agency terminates the rule. Transferred product must include identifying information such as the name and license number of the producer, THC and CBD concentration, and warnings against minor consumption and driving intoxicated.

The transfer process is only allowed from medical marijuana to recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana products will have a yellow METC label, and recreational marijuana products will have a blue METC label.

Salwa Ibrahim, a founder of Martin Kaufman Salwa Ibrahim (MKSI), entered the cannabis industry in 2008. Four years later, she started Blum, a dispensary with 65 employees that frequently serves more than 1,000 customers a day.

In August, she held the first-ever legal cannabis concession stand at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and raked in seven-figures through cannabis sales.

MKSI serves as a long-term investment incubator for cannabis companies such as Cookies and CannaCraft.

Ibrahim said her biggest takeaway for Michigan marijuana dispensaries was to work with regulators and government to forge win-win opportunities.

Higher investment follows legal recreational marijuana, Ibrahim said, because business owners invest in product innovation, building design and customer service, adding that some dispensaries assign a budtender to each customer.

Ibrahim said past patients ingested marijuana for ailments, including depression, insomnia, anxiety, cancer, chemotherapy and chronic pain.

Her toughest challenges were the application process, organizing a cash-only business and ensuring proper protocol.

Ibrahim stressed the application’s importance, adding that some of her regulators compared competitor’s responses regarding capital, security and experience to pick winners.

“You have to think about all the details of your business, why your business is unique and what you’re going to do to mitigate risk for security or business failure,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim said capital was key to ensure regulators aren’t worried that a business will fail and suggested stockpiling enough capital to last between six months and two years.

“My best piece of advice is to prepare for an audit from day one, box one, because that will make your life a lot easier if you assume you’ll be audited,” Ibrahim said.

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.