Michigan rec campaign loses court fight, may not make ballot

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.

Michigan residents may not get the opportunity to vote on legalizing recreational cannabis in November after a local judge rejected a pro-marijuana campaign’s effort to place an adult-use initiative on the statewide ballot.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Stephen Borrello ruled on Tuesday the MILegalize campaign broke the rules by collecting signatures outside a traditional 180-day window, and therefore did not qualify for the November ballot, the Detroit News reported.

Borrello cited a 1986 Michigan state Supreme Court ruling that upheld the 180-day window, meaning that MILegalize’s chances at the state’s highest court may be slim.

In June, the group turned in over 100,000 extra signatures to put the rec measure before voters. But state officials nixed MILegalize’s bid, citing the 180-day window. The group immediately filed suit to overturn the decision.

Jeff Hank, chairman of MILegalize, said there would be an “expeditious” appeal of the ruling, according to the News, and predicted the case would go all the way to the state Supreme Court.