MI: No More Smoke And Mirrors When It Comes To Medical Marijuana Law


Lansing, MI – Selling and distributing marijuana in Lansing has been a hot topic in the city for years and while waiting on state lawmakers to take action on the issue, Lansing city officials have been working on drafting their own marijuana ordinance.

The first week of September, a new draft of an ordinance was finalized, but the package of marijuana bills that lawmakers in the Senate said “yes” to Thursday, could mean back to the drawing board for Lansing city officials.

“Hooray, hurrah, the legislature has acted; we’ve been talking about this for how long? For years, we have been hoping and praying and waiting for legislative action,” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said.

Bernero said moves made at the state level today, will not only help guide, but dictate, what can be done at the city level moving forward.

“I think it would be very prudent of us at this point to proceed with caution,” Mayor Bernero said. “In fact, apply the brakes now, study very carefully what the law is, what it says, and our legal department has already begun that study, and then build our ordinance in compliance with the state law.”

City leaders and state lawmakers seem to have the same idea when it comes to regulating medical marijuana.

The city’s most recent marijuana ordinance works to do things like regulate where dispensaries can open, requires dispensaries to test products for things like pesticides. It also requires dispensaries to test the strength of the marijuana. In addition, it prohibits smoking or using marijuana at dispensaries.

Legislation the Senate approved Thursday would do a number of things. It would put controls on growing marijuana, testing it, distributing it and selling it.

Both Lansing’s drafted ordinance and the bills approved Thursday, call for growers and dispensaries to have licenses.

Mayor Bernero said he just wants to make sure the city’s ordinance mirrors what the state law is.

“I’m not saying that the work that has been done and the community engagement that has been done with regard to medical marijuana has been for naught, I think it’s good that we have been moving ahead and the council and the public is activated,” Bernero said. “There have been a number of hearings, we’ve taken a lot of public input, public testimony and all that’s good, but we can’t necessarily proceed in the manner that we thought, we may be able to, but we really have to carefully study that at this point.”

On a local level, the city’s proposed ordinance will go before the Lansing Planning Commission for review next month.

In the meantime, the mayor said the city’s moratorium on marijuana dispensaries stays in effect.

The package of bills passed in the Senate will now go to the House for approval.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: No More Smoke And Mirrors When It Comes To Medical Marijuana Law, Mayor Bernero On What It Means For Lansing
Author: Alexandra Ilitch
Contact: 517-372-1300
Photo Credit: WLNS
Website: WLNS