But Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform spokesman Jonathan Barlow said Monday that no official decision has been made yet.

"Currently, we are examining all options before moving forward with any course of action," Barlow said. "However, we are disappointed in that the city refuses to have dialogue with us in order to help minorities in the industry."


The overturned initiative, placed on the November ballot as Proposal B, specified in which zoning districts medical marijuana-related facilities could be located within Detroit. It would have allowed provisioning centers and processors in all business and industrial districts, including downtown and Midtown.


Chief Judge Robert Colombo Jr. also partially overturned the zoning portion of a separate medical marijuana initiative, Proposal A, whicht had sought to allow dispensaries to open within 500 feet of another dispensary; near liquor, beer and wine stores; child care centers, arcades and parks. 

Despite the ruling, Detroit will still be required to opt into the Michigan Medical Marijuana Facilities Act, the state licensing and regulatory framework for medical marijuana.

The decisions came after Colombo, earlier that day, dismissed two cases that had sought similar action — one brought by VK Real Estate Holdings III LLC, a company seeking a medical marijuana license to operate in the city, and the other by Detroit residents Marcus Cummings and Deborah Omokehinde. Colombo ruled they had failed to establish standing or show “special injury." 


Later in the day, the city filed its own motion seeking to overturn the two initiatives, which Colombo granted in part.

Cummings, who is cochair of the community-based Metropolitan Detroit Community Action Coalition, said he was shocked, but pleased to hear the reversal.

"We're glad the city picked it up after our standards were questioned," Cummings said. "... Legally, they (Citizens) can appeal, but if you ask me, 'do they have a case?,' I'd say no. Proposal B went against Michigan's Zoning Enabling Act. I don't see any of the appellate court judges ruling in their favor. The best thing for Citizens is to work with neighborhood groups in drafting something that was equitable for all."

Cummings said the coalition plans to go before council to offer suggestions to tweak the city's current ordinance.

"We're not anti-marijuana at all," Cummings said. "We just want fair regulations and we don't want to be flooded with this industry. ... You just want to make sure the communities and the business owners and the patients are set up where it's a safe environment."

The initiatives were both approved by 60% of voters last November but have been in limbo since then after a crop of lawsuits surfaced, challenging the measures. 

Colombo’s decision came days after Mayor Mike Duggan signed a 180-day moratorium on new medical marijuana permits and licenses.

The Detroit City Council approved the moratorium last week, citing the ongoing legal challenges and concerns.  Councilman James Tate and the city's legal department argued a city's zoning ordinance can't be modified via a voter initiative.

"This is a cautionary tale for those who want to seek ballot initiatives with illegal language in them or language that is afoul of proven case law," Tate, who drafted the resolution, said before the council. "This is what has created this situation. ... (Not) working with the city to try and find some common ground. This is a perfect example of things that can go wrong."

Prior to the voter-approved initiatives, the city already had an ordinance regulating dispensaries in place. Tate originally introduced the ordinance in 2015 and it went into effect March 1, 2016. An effort to amend the ordinance began a year later.

"I think they're putting the cart before the horse at this point," Jason Canvasser, attorney for Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform, said about the moratorium. "It's just another attempt to subvert the will of the people."