Michigan Cities Vote On Recreational Marijuana: What You Need To Know

Michigan communities sent a message of unwelcome to the marijuana industry this week, as Tuesday’s local elections restricted pot prospects in regions across the state.

The State of Michigan legalized recreational marijuana in 2018, but empowered local units to decide whether to welcome producers and dispensaries. Municipalities continue to craft their policies a year later.

On Tuesday, 10 municipalities voted to introduce, expand or ban licensing programs for pot shops. Seven chose severe restrictions.

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Pot Losses

In Metro Detroit, Keego Harbor rejected a proposal to license four medical dispensaries and four retail stores; Walled Lake rejected a proposal to increase retail licenses from three to eight; and Allen Park rejected a proposal to issue licenses for three retailers, three micro businesses and consumption spaces.

Hudson City and Mount Pleasant also defeated pro-marijuana proposals — the former to welcome 32 facilities and the latter to permit five retailers and unlimited production companies.

South Haven and Marenisco Township voted to ban recreational businesses altogether.

Pot Victories

Lincoln Park will welcome two medical and two recreational shops, as well as one micro business, grower, processor, testing facility and secure transporter. Marenisco Township will

In Crystal Township and Northfield Township, voters rejected citizens petitions to ban recreational businesses.

Why It’s Important

The legal recreational industry has been slow to develop in Michigan, partly because of state regulatory delays. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency began accepting license applications just last week, and it can take up to 90 days to process each submission. Retail sales aren’t expected for months.

Municipal resistance to producers and distributors compound the industry barriers to development and render investments that much riskier.

The MRA expects to start issuing recreational licenses by the end of November or December.

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