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Michigan Municipal League

Press Release


Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073;


Opt in or Not?

New Michigan Municipal League Report on Medical Marihuana Licensing Law Aims to Help Communities Choose

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Should your community opt in on medical marijuana licensing? This is a key question facing Michigan’s municipalities right now as part of the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) of 2016.

A new, insightful report, called “Medical Marihuana Facilities – Opt In/Opt Out,” was released today by the Michigan Municipal League, in conjunction with the League’s Legal Defense Fund.

The 12-page report is written for municipal attorneys with support from the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA), but is being made available to the public for free at and at MAMA’s website (

“This report is an excellent resource in helping municipal attorneys and community leaders make that decision of, ‘should my community opt in when it comes to the new medical marijuana licensing requirements?’,” said Michigan Municipal League Board President Catherine Bostick-Tullius, a Lapeer City Commissioner and Lapeer attorney. “I’ve read it and I encourage anyone interested in this topic to do the same.”

In Michigan, December 15, 2017, is the day that applications for five categories of medical marihuana-related licenses become available, so many communities are trying to decide whether to opt in by that deadline. But, as the report explains, communities don’t have to decide anything by Dec. 15.

The report is broken into two main parts. There is a section with pros and cons of opting into medical marihuana licensing, and a section for what to do if a community does decide to opt in and allow any of the five categories of licenses—grow operations, processing centers, testing facilities, secure transporters, and provisioning centers.

“We wanted to create a resource with non-biased information to help communities decide whether to opt in and then what to do if in fact they want to issue licenses,” said William Mathewson, League General Counsel and Fund Administrator of the Legal Defense Fund.

Written primarily for municipal attorneys, the publication assembles thoughts on advising municipalities about the sorts of things they should consider when evaluating their options under the new state regulatory scheme. Collected are some of the concerns to be addressed first, in deciding whether to opt in to authorize the medical marihuana uses now allowed, and second, if your municipality chooses to do so, what sort of things should be in the regulatory ordinance(s) that must be adopted to do so.

The report was prepared by Thomas R. Schultz of Johnson, Rosati, Schultz & Joppich. The document does not constitute legal advice and the material is provided as information only. All references should be independently confirmed.

For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, director of communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell); (734) 669-6317 (office) and

Formed in 1983, the Legal Defense Fund ( provides support to communities in Michigan involved in significant litigation or other forms of controversy which could affect the organization, operation, powers, duties or financing of Michigan municipalities. The Fund is designed to assist, and not replace the municipal attorney, and offers assistance at the discretion of its Board of Directors. Typically, amicus curiae briefs are filed on behalf of the Michigan Municipal League in state and federal courts and financed in whole or in part by the Fund. The Fund is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of the President and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League and the Board of Directors of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys.

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at




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