Many Macomb communities take wait and see approach to medical marijuana

Although two neighboring communities have decided to “opt in” on medical marijuana licensing, Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor and the rest of the City Council are in no hurry to get a new ordinance on the books.

The city’s administrators and lawyers have studied state law and drafted some rules and regulations they think would be best for the second-largest community in Macomb County.

“We don’t want to necessarily be the guinea pig. We want to see what works and what doesn’t work,” Taylor said.

“We’re not rushing it.”

The state has yet to issue any licenses for growers, processors, transporters, provisioning centers, or safety compliance centers since the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act took effect.


Signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in September 2016, the act had an effective date of Dec. 20 of that year, but also had a built-in 360-day delay to allow the state time to put the regulatory structure in place, meaning no one could apply for a license before Dec.15, 2017. Once the state started accepting applications late last year, April 2018 was the estimated time when the first licenses would be issued.

The Medical Marihuana Act law allows municipalities to “opt in” to set regulations and derive some tax revenue from businesses that grow pot for medicinal purposes, dispense it, or both. It created five types of licenses that communities can approve: growth operations, processing, provisioning centers also known as dispensaries, safety compliance and secure transport.

Complex process

Along with establishing multiple license categories for medical marijuana facilities, the act also established a two-tiered licensing process, requires background checks and a certain amount of financial assets for the applicants, and included a provision for local community control.

Under the provision for local control, the act prohibits the state from issuing licenses

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