Michigan’s capital city is adjusting key sections of its city code to reflect the state’s approval of adult-use cannabis sales. With the Nov. 1 deadline looming for state recreational cannabis business license applications, there is little time to waste.
By a comfortable margin, voters across the state approved Proposal 1 last November, which legalized cannabis for adults in Michigan. Many local cities—such as the city of Lansing—are being forced to deal with the issue of updating laws at the city level in a hurry to align with the will of voters.
On Aug. 13, Lansing’s Committee on Public Safety held a special meeting to make updates to Chapter 1300, Lansing’s current medical cannabis ordinance. Chapter 1300, Title 6 of the city’s Code of Ordinances was updated to reflect Michigan’s new recreational cannabis law. It was replaced with Ordinance No. 1217, which added amendments to Chapter 1300 to include recreational cannabis businesses. Several updates were made, including clarifications on background checks and various requirements that are expected of cannabis-related business license holders.
Lansing isn’t saying “no” to the lucrative benefits that recreational cannabis sales can provide. “The amendments to Chapter 1300 are meant to accommodate the commercial side of recreational marijuana,” Lansing City Councilmember Adam Hussain told CULTURE. “The ordinance is currently being discussed in the Public Safety Committee. We have had special meetings of the committee over the past several weeks to go through the ordinance as proposed by the administration and amend accordingly. Our hope is to have something ready for the Planning Board and Committee of the Whole to vet in the near future.”
Hussain represents Lansing’s 3rd Ward and is also At-Large member of the Committee on Public Safety. On Aug. 20, Hussain and the Lansing City Council addressed the amendments again. Hussain had several questions to consider, such as how people would be tested for intoxication. They would be tested for intoxication via saliva tests administered from the Michigan State Police.
A new state license type, Designated Consumption Establishments, was also addressed at the meeting. Many of the fine details about those types of licenses are yet-to-be-determined. Since it is unclear how those types of licenses would be approved at the local level, Hussain suggested banning them for the time being. “I don’t think our friends at the state did us any favors, and so there are a lot of channels that we have to navigate. The medical marijuana piece was very complex and this one is complex, as well,” Hussain said at the meeting.
“We have had special meetings of the committee over the past several weeks to go through the ordinance as proposed by the administration and amend accordingly. Our hope is to have something ready for the Planning Board and Committee of the Whole to vet in the near future.”
Lansing’s Committee on Public Safety took up the issue once again on Aug. 27 before the amendments make their way to the planning board for review. The city hopes to finalize the ordinance by September before the state begins accepting applications for recreational cannabis businesses on Nov. 1.
Meanwhile in Lansing, former Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson Jr. joined the board of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, which regularly meets in the capital city. Johnson and his former teammate Rob Sims also received the necessary approvals to open up a medical cannabis provisioning center of their own. It will be located in Webberville, which lies on the outskirts of Lansing.
There is a great deal of cannabis-related activity bubbling in the city of Lansing. With the latest amendments, city leadership is ready to plunge into the next chapter, which is undoubtedly recreational cannabis.