Michigan rec cannabis campaign gets OK to collect signatures

A campaign to put a recreational marijuana legalization initiative before voters in Michigan got the green light from state election officials to start collecting signatures.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced that the state board of canvassers signed off on its initiative language, clearing the way for the group to start gathering the 252,523 signatures of registered voters that it needs to make the 2018 ballot. The group has 180 days in which to submit at least that many to qualify for the ballot.

If the measure is ultimately successful, Michigan could become a booming new rec market with plenty of business opportunities, since the state already has a widespread medical marijuana industry. There are no license caps in the initiative, and five different license categories would be created for growers, retailers, manufacturers, testing labs and transporters.

The coalition is being spearheaded by Marijuana Policy Project but also includes a number of local groups, including MILegalize, Michigan NORML and the ACLU.