Local recreational marijuana bans in Michigan could hurt legal sales

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Nearly 40% of Michigan communities that approved a recreational cannabis ballot measure last year introduced local bans that prohibit retail sales, putting a possible damper on the adult-use market when it launches next year.

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued emergency rules in July giving local authorities six months to introduce bans before regulators start to accept applications for business licenses Nov. 1.

According to MLive.com, 308 of the 792 cities and townships that passed Proposal 1 in November have prohibited recreational marijuana businesses.

Marijuana Business Daily projects Michigan will generate $1.7 billion of annual sales when the program matures, but local bans could impact those numbers somewhat.

Researchers from Pew Charitable Trusts recently noted that local bans can make it more difficult to drive out the illicit market.

That’s been an issue in California, where about one-third of municipalities have prohibited retail sales.

Michigan also has been known over the years for having a large illicit marijuana market.

Residents of two Michigan towns were unsuccessful in recent attempts to overturn bans on recreational MJ businesses by gathering signatures and putting initiatives on the ballot.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily