Detroit Voters Approve Proposals Relaxing MMJ Dispensary Rules

Voters in Detroit, Michigan have approved two measures to relax restrictions on medical cannabis facilities, which will make it easier for dispensaries to do business in the city, according to a Detroit Free Press report, with 95 percent of precincts reporting. The proposals would eliminate city-approved ordinances last year which took effect in March that led to the shutdown of 186 of the city’s 283 dispensaries.

The initiatives, led by Citizens for Sensible Cannabis, eliminate the Board of Zoning Appeals’ ability to review dispensary applications, allow dispensaries to open within 500 feet of one another and religious institutions, and eliminate requirements for public hearings and comments before a dispensary could open.

The measures also establish a process to license dispensaries which bypasses the Detroit City Council and opts into the licensing regulations of the state; dispensary operation hours have also been extended from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Earlier this month, regulators in the state decided to allow current medical cannabis dispensaries to continue operating while the state migrates to a more regulated industry without impediment to receiving an operations license under the new regime. The Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation is now accepting pre-qualification licenses from current operators until Feb. 15, 2018. Michigan officials are expected to begin issuing licenses by April 2018.

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