The state is not going to issue only temporary licenses for 2018. The state is
beginning with temporary licensing to allow some established, locally permitted businesses to receive temporary state licenses as 2018 begins. The state plans to draft final regulations, allow for a full public comment period, and craft a permanent licensing process during 2018.
As for why the state is not beginning with permanent licensing applications, the state has had to accomplish a great deal since the passage of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act in fall of 2015. To begin, the state had to set up the bureaus and divisions at the state level to regulate cannabis. Then, Proposition 64 passed in November 2016, which added to the regulatory work that the state had to complete for 2018. The Legislature only finished combining Prop 64 and MCRSA into a single law in June of this year. All of this has affected the state's timeline for developing permanent regulations and a permanent licensing process.