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Michigan Supreme Court Says Municipalities Can Regulate Caregiver Growth Of Medical Marijuana

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Michigan Supreme Court Says Municipalities Can Regulate Caregiver Growth Of Medical Marijuana

In early April, the state of Michigan moved quicker than expected to cut off caregiver sales to the adult-use cannabis market. This week, the informal cultivators faced another loss in court. 

The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously decided Monday that municipalities can regulate and restrict where caregivers grow their cannabis for medical consumption. Previously, the Michigan Court of Appeals had ruled that the Medical Marijuana Act trumped, rather than complemented, local zoning restrictions.

The court case, DeRuiter v. Byron Township, was specifically a win for the Kent County municipality, which had previously passed a zoning ordinance restricting home growing operations to homes and attached garages. Resident Christie DeRuiter started to grow at a warehouse facility in a commercial zone and the township ordered her to stop.

“This could be the start of the narrowing of caregiving activities and this is what a lot of people kind of feared,” attorney Barton Morris, founder of Cannabis Legal Group, told Wood TV 8 on Tuesday.

“It’s going to lead to a lot of cities coming out with new ordinances that are restricting caregiving activities.”

The restrictions permitted by the Supreme Court have restrictions of their own.

“We therefore hold that the (state law) does not nullify a municipality’s inherent authority to regulate land use under the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act so long as the municipality does not prohibit or penalize all medical marijuana cultivation, like the city of Wyoming’s zoning ordinance did … and so long as the municipality does not impose regulations that are ‘unreasonable and inconsistent with regulations established by state law,’” the court wrote.

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