"I'm not surprised [by the decision], nor is any municipal attorney across the state," says city attorney Stephen Postema. "The dispensaries need to comply with the restrictions of the law, and the statute is clear. Patient-to-patient [sale] is no longer an approved method. It has to be [sale by] a caregiver, and they have to have no more than five patients."
In response to the decision, senior city attorney Kristen Larcom sent Ann Arbor's dispensaries a letter asking them to describe how their businesses comply with the law. The dispensaries' attorney, Denny Hayes, replied with a letter of his own outlining five business models the dispensaries could adopt. "Our goal is to get a model they approve of," says Hayes. "Everybody's properly zoned now, and we're getting no complaints from neighbors or patients or doctors."
"They're trying to be compliant," says Postema. "While we can't give advice to dispensaries, I'll provide some thoughts without advising them. We may have something done by July."
If the city and the dispensaries can't agree on a model, Hayes predicts "it'll be just like Jackson: cease-and-desist letters went out to the dispensaries there, and all eighteen shut down."