If you have heard of the new Lansing medical marijuana ordinance, then you know it is designed to unfairly punish certain business owners. All marijuana establishments, including provisioning centers (stores that sell marijuana), growing facilities, and processing facilities will be affected. If you fall into this category and fear losing your business, contact DeBruin Law at 517-324-4303 for a free consultation. We will work with you to ensure your rights are protected.
Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act was introduced in 2008. It was designed to legalize the use of medical marijuana for those who qualified for a medical marijuana card. The act also allows patients and care givers to grow their own plants for medical purposes. Strangely, this bill barely touched on medical marijuana establishments, leaving them free to operate at their own risk. The newly approved Lansing ordinance was created to take advantage of this lack of clarity. Its contents read like a vindictive laundry list of restrictions for all medical marijuana establishments.
Lansing Marijuana Ordinance Explained
As admitted by Lansing City Council member Carol Wood, the purpose of the ordinance is to reduce the number medical marijuana establishments. This includes facilities that sell medical marijuana, facilities that produce (grow) it, and facilities that process it for sale. Under the new ordinance, those who wish to sell medical marijuana will now have to apply for a new license, which will cost $3,000 dollars. It will cost $1,500 to renew the license each year. In addition, there is a chance the application will be declined, in which case only half of the fee will be refunded.
The ordinance also dictates where medical marijuana establishments are allowed to operate. According to this new law, facilities will not be allowed within 500 feet of a church, park, school, or substance abuse clinic. Also included is a provision that disallows smoking medical marijuana at a dispensary, which will eliminate medical lounges entirely.
The Ordinance Will be Enforced
Since the ordinance was announced in early 2016, there have been concerns about how its restrictions would be enforced. However, Lansing Police Chief Michael Yankowski recently announced that the department will be ready, and that they will participate in enforcing the ordinance in whatever way possible. This task is easier said than done, though, as the Lansing police department is currently down 20 officers.
As of now, police only respond to complaints regarding medical marijuana facilities, but they will soon have their hands full. Additional enforcement tasks will include: Inspecting establishments that sell medical marijuana, ensuring that products are tested for safety, enforcing the strict rule of no smoking at medical marijuana establishments, and enforcing zoning regulations.
Contact DeBruin Law
If you are being accused of violating the Lansing medical marijuana ordinance, call DeBruin Law now at 517-324-4303. We understand that many businesses are being targeted unfairly and that the changes detailed in the new law are outrageous. Our skilled Lansing criminal attorneys will choose the best legal strategy to ensure your situation reaches the best possible outcome.