Hundreds of communities ban recreational marijuana businesses

GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT)- (06/23/19) - Recreational marijuana has been legal in the state of Michigan for more than six months, but that doesn't mean people are going to be able to buy it at their local corner store.

In fact, many cities have already put in bans on the sale of marijuana in their communities. But for how long?

Edward Jarrett was one of the millions of Michiganders who voted last November to pass Proposal 1, legalizing the use of recreational marijuana in the state of Michigan.

Months later, potential marijuana business owners are still waiting to open.

"Because you still have that stigma over the marijuana situation, it's been outlawed for so many years," Jarrett said.

But some may not get a chance to open their doors at all. Hundreds of municipalities across the state have already issued bans on recreational marijuana businesses from opening up in their communities.

"I think that once they passed a law, everyone should be free to open up wherever they feel free to do that," Jarrett said.

Josh Hovey of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association said many communities are waiting to see what rules and regulations the state puts into place before coming to a final decision on banning these types of businesses.

"That's totally fine and well within their rights. That's how the law was designed to make sure every community gets to decide for itself," he said.

Hovey said he understands concerns about having a recreational marijuana business in a community, but studies show the benefits far outweigh any perceived risks.

"A lot of the downfalls that people are afraid of, we are not seeing those fears come fruition in the other states that have legalized, so it's just a matter of communities being cautious and making sure they understand what they are dealing with," Hovey said.

Jarrett would like to see communities including Flint embrace this new economic opportunity.

"The revenue and the income that comes in, the jobs that it gives people, I think they ought to give that a shot," he said.