Matthew Abel has been a practicing attorney in Michigan for over 30 years, and is the founder and Senior Partner of Cannabis Counsel, P.L.C., a boutique marijuana law firm in Detroit, Michigan. Matthew is Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Cannabis Counsel, P.L.C. law firm currently is assisting clients who are pursuing licenses to operate under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act. Since passage of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act in 2008, Cannabis Counsel, P.L.C. has rapidly grown to include not only business clients and issues, but also employment, drug testing, family law, contract, real estate, landlord-tenant, and other issues surrounding cannabis. Mr. Abel is a lifetime member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a member of the National Lawyers Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. Mr. Abel is a frequent author on marijuana issues and often presents at conferences and seminars throughout the United States.
The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act became law on December 6, 2018. It legalizes personal cultivation, possession and use of cannabis. In addition, it provides for licensing of commercial entities (growers, processors, retail stores, testing labs, transporters, and micro-grows). This session will briefly cover those various types of licenses.
In addition, the session will cover the option provided in the new law for local initiatives in all 1773 municipalities in Michigan. Mechanics and timing of these initiatives will be discussed, along with political considerations. A rough template will be provided for people who are interested to work on putting the issue of licensing facilities in a jurisdiction up to a vote of the people, rather than leaving the decision to the municipal elected officials.