LANSING — The Michigan Legislature advanced a package of five bills last week that would set new regulations on medical marijuana growers, transporters and dispensaries. State Representative Leslie Love (D-Detroit) is urging the House Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on her bill, House Bill 5445, which would protect local governments from being sued by medical marijuana dispensaries that are under an operational injunction.
“We have approximately 300 medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Detroit alone,” Love said. “We don’t have 300 Rite Aids, CVSs or Walgreens, but we have 300 pot shops. The people in my district have demanded this proliferation be controlled, and that is exactly what House Bill 5445 will do.”
Love’s bill would prevent businesses that are in violation of local ordinances from receiving injunctive relief or attempting to claim damages while the ordinance is being enforced.
“This is a common-sense bill that allows local governments to implement and enforce zoning ordinances in conjunction with state law,” Love said. “If the law is ambiguous or unclear, as is the case with our current medical marijuana law, the authority would go to the local government.”
Love said that, like the majority of Michiganders, she is supportive of marijuana use for medical purposes. At the same time, there must be a sensible balance between state and local regulators.
“I have no problem with medical marijuana dispensaries that are safe, discreet, well-run and respectful of their neighborhoods,” Love said. “My concern is that urban communities already have an overabundance of liquor stores and now medical marijuana dispensaries. For the sake of our children, we, as communities, need the authority and ability to regulate the businesses that make up the Main Streets across this state.”