In a significant decision for cannabis advocates and the cannabis industry, on September 1, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion directing the placement of a cannabis-related charter amendment on the November 7, 2023, ballot for the residents of the City of Keego Harbor, Michigan, to consider on Election Day. Thanks to the Court’s decision, the voters of Keego Harbor have the chance to directly determine whether they wish to permit recreational marijuana retailers in their community. John Fraser served as lead attorney on the matter in the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals with assistance from Lance Boldrey, Gary Gordon, Alan Wilk, Steve Liedel, Cheyenne Benyi, and Olivia Flower.Continue Reading Michigan Court of Appeals Orders Placement of Cannabis-Related City Charter Amendment on November 2023 Ballot
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.
Continue Reading 2022 Election Results – Cannabis Continues Its Spread Across Michigan
On August 30, 2022, the Wayne County Circuit Court issued rulings denying injunctive relief to several cannabis companies that challenged the implementation of the City of Detroit’s adult-use cannabis ordinance (the “Ordinance”). In addition to denying motions for preliminary injunctions, the Court also dismissed the cases entirely. In doing so, the court reached several conclusions that are at odds with a full reading of Michigan’s cannabis statutes and rules. The opinions can be found here: Case No. 22-006534-CZ Jars Holding LLC et al v. City of Detroit; and here: Case No. 22-00594-CZ House of Dank et al v. City of Detroit.
Following these rulings, the City began accepting adult-use applications on September 1 and will accept applications until September 30. It has been a long and torturous route to get to this point.
Continue Reading Detroit Opens Adult-Use Retail Licensing After Victory in Court
On July 14, 2022, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a published opinion in Cary Investments, LLC v City of Mount Pleasant—their second interpreting the application and licensing process within the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). Cary Investments, LLC is of critical importance for all licensees and prospective licensees who may find themselves facing a competitive or limited municipal license application process, as it details when a denied applicant must file an appeal of a denied application versus when a licensing and application process can be properly challenged in a lawsuit. This case also aims to answer questions that many applicants, prospective applicants, municipalities, and circuit courts have faced concerning the competitive municipal licensing process required by Section 9(4) of the MRTMA.
Continue Reading Rapid Growth of the Adult-Use Market Is Underscored by New Opinion From Michigan Court of Appeals
On March 24, 2022, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) announced record-breaking sales numbers in Michigan’s adult-use industry for the previous year. In just the second full year of licensed adult-use marijuana operations, the MRA reported that sales of adult-use marijuana exceeded $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2021.
Local governments are set to receive tens of millions of dollars thanks to the revenue-sharing provisions in the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (“MRTMA”). The MRTMA establishes a 10% excise tax on the retail sale of adult-use marijuana. Excise tax revenues are dedicated to Michigan schools and roads, and a significant portion is distributed to local municipalities and counties that have adult-use marijuana retailers and microbusinesses in their jurisdictions.
Continue Reading Michigan Adult-Use Marijuana Sales Exceed $1B in 2021, Creating Millions of Dollars for Schools, Municipalities, and Roads