State Supreme Court Ruling Lines Up With Wyandotte Action on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Wyandotte enacted a moratorium on the pot shops in October while awaiting the high court's ruling.
It appears unlikely that a medical marijuana facility will be coming to Wyandotte.
On Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against dispensaries, saying that people who use medical marijuana must grow their own or get it from a state-licensed caregiver.
This falls in line with a moratorium that Wyandotte placed on the pot shops in October while awaiting a decision from the state's high court.
City officials voted unanimously to enact a moratorium on issuing any certificates of occupancies for medical marijuana facilities until a court ruling on their legality was made. City Attorney William Look then drafted a city ordinance regarding the moratorium, which remains in effect today.
The ordinance acknowledges the fact that Michigan voters have approved the use of medical marijuana, but said questions still linger over the enforceability of that state law considering that federal law still prohibits the use of marijuana.
"Issues have been raised on whether local governments risk federal sanctions by affirmatively authorizing activities allowed by the state initiative," the resolution reads. "There are a number of unanswered issues and gaps that have been created."
The resolution goes on to say that "increased criminal activity and exposure of marijuana to minors" have arisen in another state that permits medical marijuana.
City Engineer Mark Kowalewski said the city's safest bet is to wait for the Michigan court system to weigh in on the matter.
“The Michigan Court of Appeals has recently made a ruling on the regulation of medical marijuana by cities,” Kowalewski said. “There is also another case scheduled to go before another panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals on this issue. It is my recommendation that a moratorium be adopted concerning any application for a certificate of occupancy for a medical marijuana facility until further clarification on the law may be received and to allow the city to consider the necessity of licensing and making amendments to the zoning ordinance concerning locations of the facilities.”
About five medical marijuana facilities have applied to open in Wyandotte and all have been denied, Kowalewski said.
Now that the court has ruled against the pot shops, Kowalewski said, he'll be consulting again with the city attorney on what, if anything, Wyandotte needs to do next.
Friday's 4-1 decision is the most significant court ruling since voters approved marijuana for certain illnesses in 2008, according to The Associated Press. The state appeals court ruled dispensaries illegal in 2011, but many communities took a hands-off approach while waiting for the Supreme Court to make the ultimate decision.