Marijuana Law Update: Recreational Use in Michigan on the Ballot for November

Attorney Mark B. DavisJust to provide an update on recent happenings in the marijuana field (pun intended):

Ballot Measure

The language and signatures have been certified, and have gone without challenge.  The citizens of Michigan will get the opportunity to decide if marijuana should be legal for recreational use.  The matter will be decided by the voters on November 6.

If the measure passes, Michigan would be the 9th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.  Most recent poll numbers show support in favor of recreational use legalization at about 60%, and most sources expect the measure to pass.

CBD

CBD, a derivate of marijuana that you may have seen at your local convenience store, has been determined by Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to be within the definition of marijuana and therefore subject to the provisions of the current regulatory scheme (e.g., medical use cards, provisioning centers, etc.)

Recent Licensing Decision

In April, 9 licensees were granted pre-approval for their licensing application from LARA to establish facilities for the production of medical marijuana.  The pre-approval means that those entities can now go back to the local municipality and show their pre-approval to obtain a final permit from the municipality.  After final approval is granted by the local authority, the licensee can go back to LARA and get final approval of their state license.

This is how the process is supposed/intended to work.  However, since these are the first pre-approvals ever granted under the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA), how this will all actually play out is currently unknown.

On May 30, 2018 the deadline for already-existing shops to be licensed or closed was extended from June 15 to September 15.   The emergency rules that are currently in place can stay in place until after the November Ballot measure.

For your consideration…

We expect that legalized recreational marijuana use is coming.  Folks who live in communities with units that are joined (attached) need to give careful thought to this subject moving forward.  The prevailing sentiment is that private restrictions against marijuana use (i.e. Bylaws, Declarations, etc.) will remain permissible.

There are no established protections for medical marijuana use (as an accommodation to a disability) under federal law, and none on the state level at this point.

The next few months may present unprecedented issues regarding marijuana use (both medical and recreational) for community associations.  Please check back with our Blog in coming months as this developing picture comes into better focus.

Mark B. Davis is an associate attorney with the firm.  He has extensive experience in community association law and has been with the firm since 2007.  Mark served honorably in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of Sergeant as an infantry soldier.  His particular expertise in community association law includes marijuana law, collections, litigation (both federal and state), Fair Housing matters, and bankruptcy law. He is a member of the Marijuana Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and frequently conducts seminars for community association organizations (such as UCOM) as well as the ZDF Condo & HOA B.E.A.T. Program on the subject.  You can reach Mark at our Plymouth office at 734-459-0062 or via email at mdavis@zdfattorneys.com.

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