Marijuana in Michigan:
• 1972 – Ann Arbor removes criminal penalties for small amounts of marijuana.
• 2008 – Voters approve the Compassionate Care Initiative 63 percent to 37 percent, allowing medical marijuana in Michigan. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
• 2012 – Cities begin to decriminalize marijuana in local ordinances: Detroit, Flint, and Grand Rapids in 2012; Ferndale, Jackson, and Lansing in 2013; Hazel Park, Oak Park, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Mount Pleasant, Pleasant Ridge, Port Huron and Saginaw in 2014; East Lansing, Portage, and Keego Harbor in 2015. In 2012, Ypsilanti made marijuana enforcement a low priority and Kalamazoo lowered penalties.
2017 – Laws allowing five different types of medical marijuana licenses will take effect in mid December.
2017 – Petition drive is underway to place a proposal on the 2018 ballot to legalize recreational marijuana.
Most communities across the state are taking a wait-and-see approach to new regulations that take effect in December that changes medical marijuana licensing and requires local zoning to allow medical marijuana operations.
Medical marijuana businesses won’t be able to set up shop in local communities unless local zoning allows it.
From the new regulations to municipal zoning to real estate negotiations, lawyers are stepping up to help both entrepreneurs and local governments navigate the changes.
In Oakland County so far, only Hazel Park is moving to draft an ordinance to allow medical marijuana businesses under new regulations scheduled to be effective in mid December.
Hazel Park is among the few statewide, so far.
“All these cities are taking their time,” said Barton Morris, a Royal Oak attorney and founder of the Cannabis Legal Group. “The more that come on board, the surrounding areas are going to look at doing the same.”
In what’s expected to balloon to