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Lansing City Clerk issues first 18 denial letters to medical marijuana dispensaries


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – If you’re driving down Cedar Street on Lansing’s south side, you can spot a pot shop just about every mile. 

But according to Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope, that is all about to change. 

“There are 18 locations we have issued denial letters to,” Swope said. 

The City of Lansing has started to shave down to the number of despensaries we have, sending denial letters to 18 applicants this week.

“They might not be final denials, they may win on their appeal, may convince us that we missed something or considered a factor wrong,” Swope said. “But in the meantime they cannot be operating during the denial period.” 

But while Swope says those who got the notice are supposed to close down, some of the shops aren’t following this order. 

Five of the 6 shops 6 News visited on Friday were still open. Their owners say they either hadn’t recieved the letter, or they were told by the city they could remain in business during the appeal process. 

Swope says his office isn’t involved in the enforcement side of things, but offered a different explanation. 

“We did review the letter that we were using and made it more clear to them that they should not be operation during the period of denial and appeal of that denial, some of the earlier letters might’ve not had that clarification,” Swope said. 

Under Lansing’s Medical Marijuana Ordinance, only 25 dispensaries will ultimately be allowed to stay open. 

Swope says the 18 facilities that have been denied were only the first round of cuts. Now, the nearly 40 other applicants will be ranked based on other factors. 

“That takes into consideration things like job creation, economic impact, regulatory compliance history, and a number of other things,” Swope said. 

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