Cannabis voter initiatives fall mostly short across Michigan

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Municipalities across the state of Michigan voted yesterday on whether or not to allow recreational cannabis businesses within their respective borders. However, the results following yesterday’s votes were wildly disappointing for prospective marijuana businesses.

In November of 2018, voters across the state voted in favor of legalizing possession of recreational cannabis for personal use and to allow cannabis businesses including retail stores, producers testing facilities and processing operations by a 56%-44% margin. The catch: local leaders can decide whether or not they will allow cannabis businesses within their communities.

As of Friday, November 1, approximately 1,368 municipalities in Michigan have informed the state they are opting out of hosting cannabis businesses, with some saying they may reconsider in the future. Several voter-led initiatives were included on ballots across the state yesterday hoping to overturn the bans that have been set or to create guidelines that would allow recreational businesses. Unfortunately, most of the initiatives were turned down by voters.

Here are the results from several Michigan communities:

  • Proposition 1 in Walled Lake was turned down by 60 percent of voters. The proposition would have allowed for eight new cannabis shops aside from the three that have been approved for the area.
  • In Allen Park, a proposal to set a $5,000 fee, regulate time, place and manner of operation and set a limit of $150 on pot businesses in the city failed having 61% of voters say no. The proposal also would have added three recreational cannabis retail shops to the city as well as three microbusinesses.
  • Similar to the proposition in Walled Lake, Keego Harbor’s proposal failed with 65 percent of voters saying no.
  • Proposals that would allow cannabis businesses failed in Hudson and Mt. Pleasant.

There was some good news that came out of yesterday’s votes:

  • Residents gathered signatures in an effort to ban cannabis shops in Crystal Township and Northfield Township but the measures were rejected by voters.
  • In Lincoln Park, the proposal to allow two medical shops and two recreational shops will move forward after 56 percent of voters were in favor.

While 2019 may not have been a great year for the Michigan cannabis community, Michigan Cannabis Industry Association Director Robin Schneider said earlier this week that she expects to see many more voter-led initiatives on ballots for several years as the industry becomes more established in the state.

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