Dueling ordinances


Months ago, I authored Escanaba’s Marihuana Ordnance in which Escanaba “opts-out” of marihuana until April 2020. A week ago, I participated in a webinar by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). LARA will issue state marihuana licenses this November of the following types: Grower A, B, C, and excess grower; microbusiness; processor; retailer; secure transporter; safety compliance facility; event organizer; temporary event; and consumption establishment. When asked if a city can “opt in” to some of these classes but not all of them, LARA’s answer was, “We don’t know.” When asked if a city could restrict some or all of these classes by zoning, LARA’s answer was, “Maybe.” The Marihuana Regulatory Authority is working on new “permanent regulations” which ought to answer these questions and more.

My question: Should Escanaba continue to opt-out until we learn what the permanent regulations really mean?

A citizens’ petition can compel city council to consider an ordnance to opt-in to marihuana or opt-out of marihuana. Such a petition must have 244 valid citizen signatures. This raises the possibility of “dueling ordinances.” Good luck to us all.

Ralph B Blasier