GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – About 39% of Michigan communities that approved a recreational marijuana ballot measure last year have since introduced local bans that prohibit businesses selling pot.
Michigan's Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued emergency rules in July giving local authorities six months to introduce bans before it starts to accept applications for business licenses Nov. 1.
MLive.com reports that 308 of the 792 cities and townships that passed Proposal 1 in November have prohibited recreational marijuana businesses.
Bruce Barcott, deputy editor of the Washington state-based marijuana news and information website Leafly, described the local bans as the “second phase of legalization.”
“Smaller municipalities tend to want the big cities to go first and offer them reassurance that the sky won't fall, that crime rates won't skyrocket, that teen access won't go up,” he said.
Ten other states and the District of Columbia have legalized smoking or eating marijuana for recreational use since 2012.
Local prohibitions on legal sales tend to encourage the black market to flourish.
Residents recently attempted to overturn vetoes on pot businesses in two Michigan towns by gathering signatures and putting initiatives on the ballot. But in Highland Park in Wayne County and in Vanderbilt, their polling efforts were unsuccessful.