Michigan voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana use on the November 6 ballot. While this makes it legal to possess and smoke in areas where smoking is allowed, many municipalities have quickly moved to tell recreational pot businesses that they should look elsewhere. According to a recent story in the Detroit Free Press, 300 municipalities and communities have voted to prohibit pot businesses in their jurisdiction, which they are entitled to do. The above number far exceeds the 114 municipalities who had previously allowed medical marijuana businesses and therefore would likely be open to recreational businesses.
This is typical
This news may initially be cause for concern to consumers and entrepreneurs looking to open new pot-based businesses. While Michigan’s numbers are far from complete, they are similar to those in Colorado, where 75 percent of the municipalities voted to not allow these businesses.
Some study while others approve
Some communities have put a temporary ban so the matter can be studied. In Royal Oak, the city commission has held sessions that feature legal representatives of potential marijuana businesses, legal representatives for the municipalities and local law enforcement. Oakland County, on the other hand, has already allowed the first licensed dispensary to open.
Both sides wrestle with the issue
Marijuana laws across the county have been a challenge to both state and local governments. There is a lot of controversy and very few precedents for new laws, so many are proceeding with caution or not at all. This does not mean that entrepreneurs and others looking to get into the business should not try. Working with attorneys, these businesses can work to persuade local politicians to change their minds and help the businesses come up with viable plans that municipalities find acceptable.