These 4 Michigan communities could vote to reverse marijuana bans — and more could be on the way

Jul 25, 2019 at 1:25 pm
click to enlarge These 4 Michigan communities could vote to reverse marijuana bans — and more could be on the way
Susan Montgomery /

Though Michigan voters approved recreational adult-use marijuana in November, government officials in more than 500 communities across the state have decided to ban marijuana businesses, at least for now — a right afforded to them under Proposal 1.

However, pro-pot activists in four municipalities — Allen Park, Romulus, Hudson, and Vanderbilt, according to The Detroit News — are attempting to take the issue to the ballot again in November, which is also a right written into Proposal 1.

In many cases, the communities decided to op-out of marijuana businesses not because of an anti-pot stance but just to kick the can down the road. Marijuana shops are not expected to open until early 2020, and many communities have adopted a "wait-and-see" approach until they get more clarity from the state in terms of what it will allow. In other words, it's not that communities don't necessarily want marijuana sales — it's just that they don't want to be first.

In South Haven, however, a group called Concerned Citizens of South Haven is also working to get a marijuana initiative on the November ballot, but they are seeking to ban marijuana sales outright. South Haven voters approved Proposal 1 narrowly, by 52 percent.

To bring the issue to a vote, residents have to collect petition signatures from 5 percent of voters who cast a ballot in the most recent gubernatorial election. (In Vanderbilt, a 1.1-square-mile community with a population of 562, that's just 10 signatures.)

Proposal 1 created a 10 percent excise tax on marijuana sales and requires the state to direct 15 percent of the resulting annual revenue back to local municipalities that have opted in.

A list of all of the communities that have opted out so far can be found here.

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