Local control could become an issue if Michigan legalizes recreational cannabis

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Will local governments have the power to unilaterally ban marijuana companies if a recreational legalization ballot measure is approved in Michigan in November?

The answer seems to be up in the air, according to Detroit TV station WDIV.

“One interpretation says all communities are opted in automatically until they opt out. The other interpretation is that each community will decide for itself,” WDIV reported.

No matter the answer, it’ll be an important one for those looking to enter the Michigan cannabis market.

Local control has been an ongoing legal question for marijuana companies across the nation for years, because it’s key to MJ businesses finding legal homes in which to set up shop.

That’s true for growers, retailers and every other type of plant-touching business.

According to the ballot measure, “a municipality may completely prohibit or limit the number of marihuana establishments within its boundaries” and local governments can adopt further MJ regulations as long as they’re not “unreasonably impracticable” or in direct conflict with state industry rules.

That seems to suggest cities and counties will have to act if they want to ban the industry, but it also won’t really guarantee homes in Michigan for cannabis businesses.

Legal experts cited by WDIV said they believe that individual communities will have to decide for themselves if they want to allow cannabis companies in their jurisdictions.