November Countdown: A Summary of Michigan's Marihuana Legalization Initiative

The countdown to the legalization of marihuana in Michigan. Proposal 1 will enact a new law rather than amend the state’s constitution. Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is directed to accept applications for adult use marijuana establishments within 12 months of the law’s effective date. Marijuana establishments may obtain approval from a municipality if the state of Michigan misses this deadline. The initiative addresses issues that the founding states are currently grappling with such as marijuana deserts caused by municipal opt outs. Below is a brief summary of the initiative’s more interesting provisions.

  • Municipality Opt Out: Residents may petition for the adoption of a marijuana ordinance if the local government has decided to opt out. The lack of municipal opt ins has led to marijuana deserts in California, which has increased black market activity. This provision puts the power back into the hands of the individuals who pay the local counsel’s salaries and whose taxes may be reduced by the sale of recreational marijuana.

  • Local Ordinances: Local ordinances must stay within the four corners of the Ballot language. These provisions reign in municipalities that create a duplicative regulatory oversight and increase costs by drafting an onerous local ordinance.

  • Competing Applicants: Local municipalities will be charged with selecting when there are competing applicants for a limited number of licenses.

  • Microbusinesses: Microbusinesses are specifically authorized and may only be owned by Michigan residents for a period of 24 months after the state begins accepting applications.

  • Custodial Rights: Custody may not be denied or restricted for lawful marijuana consumption unless it the person's behavior creates an unreasonable danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated.

  • Employer Rights: An employer are explicitly authorized to enforce its drug policy and take action against an individual who is using marijuana during work.

  • Landlord Rights: Landlords may prohibit tenants from smoking, consuming, growing, distributing, processing, selling, or displaying marijuana or accessories, except that tenant may lawfully possess and consume marijuana.