MI: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries A Step Closer To Coming To Benton Harbor

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A scoring system has been put in place to grade applicants looking to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Benton Harbor.

The system works like this: The more qualified the applicant, the higher the number awarded.

“It has a scoring mechanism in it, which I’m not sure if its good or bad yet until I can see it,” said Mark Smith. “I’d rather see a vetting process to make sure everyone gets vetted properly.”

Smith and his daughter Samantha own a dispensary in Bangor, Michigan.

He says he opened up shop 6 months ago and has already seen success with over 2,700 registered patients.

“If you put a pin in Bangor and drew a circle, we’re pulling people from about 125 miles away,” said Smith. “One of those towns being Benton Harbor, we’re at a little over 500 registries from Benton Harbor.”

Seeing the pull from Benton Harbor, Smith says the city could be a perfect spot to open another store.

According to the new scoring system, Smith’s experience and being from Benton Harbor could help him.

“We should add some bonuses for those that pay taxes, do business in Benton Harbor, spend money in Benton Harbor, live in Benton Harbor,” said Commissioner Mary Alice Adams.

Commissioner Adams says despite only two people showing up to Tuesday night’s meeting, her phone has been ringing constantly with interested parties.

Adams says medical marijuana’s econonomic possibilities could bring jobs and people the city needs.

But she wants people before they begin the process, to know what they are getting into.

“This is something that is very costly to the business owners that chooses to open up such a facility and you have to have all your ducks lined up.”

Commissioner Adams says the application has a few kinks that need to be worked out, but people can send their applications in two weeks.