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Friday, July 14, 2017

Cannabis Conference Highlights Re-Investment Opportunities Into Local Units Governments

By Richard C. Clement - Marijuana Policy Analyst

On Sunday July 9th, 2017 a captive audience at the Southeast Michigan Cannabis Business Development Conference listened to guest speakers with Council President Pro Tempore George Cushingberry Jr. giving the keynote address to attendees at the Atheneum Hotel in Detroit Michigan.  The staff at the hotel provided stellar service to guests and are to be totally commended for their professionalism.

Attendees listened to experts in Finance, Legal, Agriculture, and Government affairs.  Former Fox TV anchor Aqunette Jaimison , State of Michigan LARA Director Shelly Edgerton, Women Grow also provided insight from a different perspective. The conference finished up with a minority inclusion panel that highlighted the opportunity and the barriers encountered within the industry.

Anquinette Jamison

On November 7th, 2017 there will be two proposals on the ballot to allow the City of Detroit to opt into the new State Of Michigan regulations for the Marijuana Industry by ballot initiative. The proposals will address the zoning and licensing rules business who want to locate in Detroit. 

The new ordinance will remove liquor stores, and reduces distances from a valid church to 500 ft unless you get a waiver from the pastor. There are some denominations such as the Rastafarians that may qualify for a waiver because Cannabis is a documented sacred plant in their religious practice. There are other pastors who are tolerant and want you to help in the community in some way. 

A valid church is defined as an entity that filed proper paperwork with the City and County officials. Drug Free Zone enforcement will only apply to educational institutions. 

The enforcement of the current Marijuana Ordinance has cost the City Of Detroit $1 million dollars in revenue and, the change can’t come soon enough.  When the ordinance gets passed, city residents will have a voice in the reinvestment of revenue from the Marijuana industry.  Recreation Centers can be rebuilt and redesigned for neighborhood use by children and senior citizens alike.The new ordinance will generate at least $2 million dollars a year in revenue from job growth in green industries.

On the State Level, LARA Director Edgerton explained to conference attendees that a system will be up and running to issue licenses by December 15th, 2017.  This will include placing the picture from your Driver’s license or Personal ID in the space provided on the current Michigan Medical Marijuana Card. To make this happen, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson must work with Information Technology professionals instead of the Attorneys in the Attorney General's office. This change has been long overdue and another example of the wall being torn down between State Departments and technology.

In November of 2018 the Coalition To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol  will have on the ballot a voter initiative to regulate and tax retail sales of Cannabis. With a massive overhaul of the Liquor Commission and a new Governor,  you will be able partake in areas such as bars, restaurants, and smoking areas in sports stadiums with the owners permission.  One of the hidden benefits of the law for restaurant owners is that food sales will increase by at least 10% to 15%.

Make sure you go to the Polls in August and November and Vote 

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