Ken Lund

Detroit to Challenge Voter-Approved MMJ Industry Reforms in Court

Detroit, Michigan officials intend to file a lawsuit against the voter-approved medical cannabis dispensary rules that relaxed restrictions on businesses, such as reducing the buffer area from religious institutions and requiring public hearings and comments before obtaining approval to open a shop, the Detroit Free Press reports. The legal action comes less than a week after the City Council passed a 180-day moratorium on new medical cannabis licenses and permits in the city.

Officials who supported the moratorium cited the new rules as the reason for the action. Councilman James Tate, who drafted the city legislation, said the new regime violated state law. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Robert Colombo Jr. dismissed two challenges to the voter-approved regulations on Friday but allowed the city to move forward with its own legal action. City attorney James Noseda told the judge he would submit a complaint by the end of the day Friday.

“This is a cautionary tale for those who want to seek ballot initiatives with illegal language in them or language that is afoul of proven case law. This is what has created this situation … (Not) working with the city to try and find some common ground. This is a perfect example of things that can go wrong.” – Tate to the City Council, via the Free Press

Johnathan Barlow, the lawyer for Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform who worked to get the ballot initiative on the ballot, called the city’s attempt to “derail” the reforms “the most bizarre thing” he’s ever seen.

The measures were approved by 60 percent of Detroit voters.


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