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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.

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