The 2022 general election saw cannabis on the ballot in 32 municipalities across Michigan. With the votes tallied, it appears that 13 municipalities voted in favor of initiatives to expand cannabis access that were on the ballot. Some of those municipalities voted to allow cannabis businesses for the first time, while others voted to expand legal access from only medical to adult use. Many of the proposals, both for or against, came back very close, suggesting that the issue remains a divisive one despite the additional tax revenue received by municipalities that already allow cannabis businesses within their bounds.

The municipalities that added or expanded cannabis this year are:

  • Auburn Hills City, Oakland County – voted to allow at least four adult use establishments
  • Belleville City, Wayne County – voted to significantly expand cannabis operations, from growers through retail and consumption lounges.
  • Buel Township, Sanilac County – voted to significantly expand cannabis operations, from growers through retail and consumption lounges.
  • Chesterfield Township, Macomb County – voted to allow the city to set the number of cannabis businesses
  • Clement Township, Gladwin County – voted to allow two adult use retail establishments
  • Clio City, Genesee County – voted to allow two medical provisioning centers, ending the city’s prohibition on cannabis businesses
  • Egelston Township, Muskegon County – voted to add adult use to the existing medical businesses, and to allow co-location
  • Green Lake Township, Grand Traverse County – voted to allow recreational cannabis businesses in limited numbers from growers through adult-use retail
  • Imlay City, Lapeer County – voted to allow medical cannabis and create a city agency to oversee the local regulatory structure
  • Keego Harbor City, Oakland County – voted to significantly expand cannabis operations, from growers through retail and consumption lounges.
  • Royal Oak Township, Oakland County – voted to repeal cannabis business prohibition and allow medical cannabis businesses
  • South Haven Township, Van Buren County – voted to repeal prohibition and allow only adult use retailers, but left open the possibility for expansion via subsequent ordinances
  • Taylor City, Wayne County – voted to repeal ban on adult use establishment and establishes zoning restrictions on where such establishments can be located

It is also worth noting that initiatives in Memphis City and Newfield Township to ban cannabis businesses failed. Based on our last review, these election results bring the count of municipalities in Michigan that have authorized either medical or adult use facilities to 268, which is still only 15.1% of Michigan’s cities, townships, and villages.

Finally, while Michigan continues to slowly expand access to cannabis, so does the rest of the country. On a national level, two states, Maryland and Missouri, voted to legalize cannabis, while three, Arkansas and both Dakotas, voted against legalization, bringing the total number of states with fully legal cannabis to 24. Meanwhile, Colorado joined Oregon at the cutting edge of drug policy reform by voting in favor of a ballot initiative to decriminalize and regulate certain psychedelics. Colorado’s law offers a starkly different paradigm from Oregon for legal psychedelics, and it remains to be seen which approach will succeed.

Dykema’s Cannabis Industry Group will continue to monitor and report on developments in the industry and regarding drug policy reform more broadly.