Weed Shop Laws Go Up in Smoke, But Supporters Say Relax

Three ballot questions regulating retail marijuana failed in recent elections, but that doesn’t necessarily mean legal cannabis is going anywhere.

WDET Digital
WDET Digital

Last week’s elections didn’t have a lot of blockbuster races or questions that dominated headlines in Michigan. But Michigan’s emerging cannabis industry — now legal under 2018’s Proposal One — did get tested in three communities.

Highland Park, Vanderbilt, and Crystal Lake all had local ballot questions to determine whether marijuana businesses would be allowed to operate inside their borders.

All three failed. 

What does that mean for the prospects of legal weed in Michigan? At least one marijuana industry advocate says he’s not concerned.

“It’s really a blip on the radar,” says Michigan Cannabis Industry Association spokesperson Josh Hovey. “These were three small ballot initiatives that didn’t happen to pass.”

Hovey says it might take time for cities and towns that have opted out of allowing marijuana businesses to change their mind. But he thinks that’s more likely to happen after the state begins issuing business licenses later this year.

“We think that the communities that are embracing change and embracing the progress of legalization will show the way forward to the other communities that are more hesitant. And as they see that the sky doesn’t fall, that these are reputable, highly regulated businesses, they’ll be more welcome in the future.”

Click on the player above to hear a conversation about the implications of three failed marijuana-related ballot proposals.


  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.
  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.