The Reef, a medical marijuana dispensary offers about 60 different strains in Detroit on Friday, September 8, 2017.(Photo: Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press)Buy Photo
Two initiatives that would amend Detroit’s medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries to open near liquor stores, and grow facilities to operate legally, will appear on the November ballot, after a Wayne County circuit judge’s ruling earlier this week.
If approved by voters in November, the changes could have a wide-reaching impact on the city’s budding marijuana industry.
Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press that the city respects the right of voters to decide but concerns have been raised about the measures, particularly the one that would impact zoning regulations.
“The voters are in charge and that’s the way it should be,” Hollowell said. “…We do have some concerns for sure, particularly on the one that deals with zoning questions. The Supreme Court has ruled that a city’s zoning ordinance cannot be amended by an initiative petition. We have some concerns about that but we’ll deal with that when it comes up.”
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Citizens for Sensible Cannabis, the group that circulated petitions for the initiatives, filed a lawsuit Aug.15 against Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey and the City of Detroit Election Commission after the parties said a measure to change zoning regulations by amending Chapter 61 of the city’s code, could not appear on the ballot.
Citizens for Sensible Cannabis spokesman Jonathan Barlow said Friday that Chief Judge Robert J. Colombo, Jr. ruled Tuesday both proposals will appear on the ballot.
Elections Director Daniel Baxter also confirmed to the Free Press Friday that the two proposals will go before voters Nov.