Local Municipalities Starting Discussions On Marijuana Facilities in their Jurisdiction

Local municipalities are trying to figure out whether or not to allow marijuana facilities within their jurisdictions after the legalization of marijuana in the state. The discussion has started in Scottville now as it was brought up at their most recent city commission meeting earlier in the week. The commission made the decision to have a pre-drafted opt-out ordinance drafted by law firm Dickinson Wright. That doesn’t mean they will opt-out, but they are prepared to, if they chose to. Ludington has already got the discussion going last month at a public safety meeting on November 19th. There is still plenty of time for municipalities to decide whether or not to opt-out or to choose how many facilities they will allow. At some point the state will make their recommendations on what should be allowed for municipalities that don’t decide to opt- out.

Discussion regarding recreational marijuana facilities in the city of Scottville is now underway, following the passing of Proposal 1 in the Nov. 6 election and both city officials and residents weighed in Monday at Scottville City Hall.

The commission made the decision to have a pre-drafted opt-out ordinance — a measure that would prohibit the sale of recreational marijuana in Scottville — sent to the city’s ordinance committee for review. The ordinance was drafted by the law firm of Dickinson Wright for Scottville and several other municipalities in the event that city commissioners choose not to allow recreational marijuana facilities in the city.

City Attorney Tracy Thompson said it was a smart move to have the ordinance committee review the draft, adding that he’s glad the city waited to make a decision regarding medical marijuana sales — another hot-button issue throughout the past year — until after the Nov. 6 election.

He believes the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries has been rendered a “dead end,” economically speaking, by the passing of Proposal 1, which makes marijuana use legal for people who are at least 21 years old.

“In my opinion, medical marijuana doesn’t seem like a viable business model,” Thompson said, adding that he believes residents are more likely to patronize facilities selling recreational marijuana than those strictly distributing medical marijuana.

He urged the commission to make headway in terms of coming to a decision as to whether or not to allow recreational marijuana sales in Scottville, saying that the matter will be decided on the state level if the commission waits too long.

“We can’t just sit on our hands. If we don’t do anything, then the state would allow marijuana dispensaries within the city of Scottville,” Thompson said. “If you decide that this is business you want here, you should find out where and how much and pass a responsible ordinance.

“It’s pretty clear it needs to be done before the state passes its recommendations… That could take a year, but I wouldn’t wait that long.”

Discussion among residents was not limited to recreational marijuana alone, as several locals spoke up to advocate allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in addition to or instead of recreational ones.

Ludington Wins Boys Basketball Season Opener

Ludington Orioles get the win in their season opener on the road against the Cadillac Vikings with a final score of 66-55. It was a back and forth game with many lead changes and a tie game at 26-26 going into half. The Orioles played very well in the second half and outscored the Vikings by 9 points in the 4th quarter. Ludington Guard Brayden Porter was feeling it from 3 point range, hitting five 3 pointers to finish with 15 points. Senior Forward Joshua Laman had himself a game finishing with 18 points. Nine Oriole players contributed in the scoring column and it was an all around team solid team performance for Ludington.

Scoring by Quarter:

QTR 1 -- LHS - 15, CHS - 10
QTR 2 -- LHS - 11, CHS - 16
QTR 3 -- LHS - 16, CHS - 14
QTR 4 -- LHS - 24, CHS - 15

HALFTIME -- LHS - 26, CHS - 26
AFTER 3 QTRS -- LHS - 42, CHS - 40
FINAL -- LHS - 66, CHS - 55

LUDINGTON Orioles scoring: Riley Calhoun - 5, Brayden Porter - 15, Joshua Laman - 18, Sam Bandstra - 2, Jayden Hathaway - 6, Garrett Meeker - 3, Nathan Lange - 9, Jake Plamondon - 1, Peyton LaCombe - 7.

Cadillac Vikings scoring: Cale Mickelson - 13, Logan Wilde - 2, Tipp Baker - 13, Aidan Raffaele - 16, Evan Barr - 3, Levi Klotz - 8.


Ludington Area School District Approves 101 Million Dollar Bond Proposal at Special Meeting

The Ludington Area School District's board of education held a special meeting last night. The board approved a resolution involving the district building a new pre-K through fifth grade building near the intersection of Jebavy Drive and Bryant Road. New additions and renovations would be done at the middle school and high school with the retention of the performing arts center and pool but with renovations and upgrades. The district would also improve the transportation center and existing athletic facilities. The threshold for this plan is 101 Million Dollars. And the construction would happen in 2019 and 2022

The bond is projected to be before voters in May 2019.

Ludington City Council Meeting 11/26 Presentation of Next Year's Budget

Ludington city council met last night where a presentation of the upcoming budget took a large part the meeting. The city’s proposed 2019 budget says the city is in good financial condition. The proposed budget reflects a 5.5% increase in General fund revenues from 2018 to 2019.

Also on the agenda was angled parking on south Loomis Street, the city adopted two traffic control orders as the trial run of angled parking was a success between Rath Avenue and South James Street. There was a vote to approve a franchise agreement between Lakeshore Water Sports LLC and the city of Ludington but it failed as there was only one yes vote and that was made by Councilor Wally Cain.

The council also changed the date of the next city council meeting from December 3rd to December 10th.

Ludington Committee Discusses Marijuana Dispensaries in City Limits

It still could be some time before the city of Ludington decides how it will handle recreational marijuana. At the Public Safety and Public utilities meeting yesterday afternoon, the committee discussed what proposal 1 means and doesn’t mean as far as how the city can react. The proposal allows municipalities the option of enacting ordinances to prohibit or limit establishments and also determine hours of operation and signage guidelines within their jurisdictions. It is not an all or nothing decision.

There were cases made both ways for allowing and not allowing any establishments in the city limits but for the most part, the committee is just collecting facts to keep discussions moving forward. Chief of Police Mark Barnett urged decision makers to not make a decision based on the income it could provide because there would be other costs involved in policing it as well as social costs. Mayor Elect Steve Miller cited the strong voting numbers in favor of proposal 1 and recommended to councilors in attendance to talk to their constituents and see what they want.

The committee spent a little over 30 minutes on the topic before they moved on to other items on the agenda.

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