Many Northern Michigan Communities are Moving to Opt-Out of Recreational Marijuana

In November Michigan voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana and in two days it will happen.

But municipalities across Northern Michigan are moving towards not allowing recreational marijuana stores to setup shop in their communities.

Cities like Sault Ste. Marie, Fremont and Mancelona have already opted-out of allowing the sale.

Others will be making decisions soon.

Tuesday night East Jordan city commissioners are discussing an ordinance to opt-out of having recreational marijuana.

They add to a growing list of communities.

“All we did last night is introduce an ordinance which would allow for us to opt-out of recreational marijuana for the time being,” Traverse City Commissioner Richard Lewis, said.

Monday night Traverse City Commissioners approved medical marijuana facilities, but voted to draft an ordinance banning the recreational sale.

“Legislature has a year to come up with the rules, we want to make sure we understand what the rules are before we have to enact whatever legislation that we need to,” Lewis, added.

That’s why many cities are opting-out.

Monday night the city of Charlevoix also voted to draft an opt-out ordinance, but plan to revisit their decision later on.

“What we believe is that with the state still creating rules that its best for us to opt- out for the time being, wait and see how those rules come about see what comes otherwise and they can revisit that subject in the months and years to come,” Charlevoix City Manager Mark Heydlauff, explained.

Heydlauff says any ordinance would not affect personal use.

“I think what council felt from their constituents was that a lot of the folks who voted “yes” were thinking more for their personal use and decriminalizing it, which they felt was the biggest concern and that it was less of a vote of setting up shops,” Heydlauff, added.

It will take a year before we see stores selling marijuana to the public, but places that allow pot-shops will get a cut of the taxes.