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Brighton City Council to Consider Home Occupation Route for Medical Marijuana

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Brighton is moving toward allowing medical marijuana caregivers to grow and sell the plants in their homes.

The City Council will do its first reading of a proposed amendment to the city's zoning ordinance that officially recognizes the growing and selling of medical marijuana by primary caregivers as a home occupation.

Home occupation means that primary caregivers grow and sell medical marijuana out of their home in a residential area, as opposed to the storefront dispensary system that operates in commercial districts.

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was approved by Michigan voters in November 2008. According to the policy report prepared by the city, 63.5 percent of Brighton residents voted for the measure.

Brighton has had a moratorium on issuing permits to sell medical marijuana in the city since August 2010.

"In many communities where people have elected to go the home occupation route, the reasoning behind those decisions is that they believed it to be truer to the original vision of medical marijuana in Michigan," Brad Maynes said, a city attorney who helped draft the ordinance. "People growing their own medical marijuana, or their next door neighbor or family member helping them out as a caregiver, but not as large-scale commercial organization."

The terms in the proposed ordinance for home occupation allow for any commercial enterprise residents pursue in their home, Maynes said, from teaching piano lessons to selling jewelry and makeup.

Some of the original regulations listed in the ordinance carry over, such as prohibition of signs and outside storage of anything not deemed normal for a residential home, and a curfew imposed on deliveries of goods or customer visits between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

There are new prohibitions added to the list for home occupation, such as the ban on mechanical or electrical equipment that would be considered disruptive to the surrounding area.

In addition to those, specific regulations aimed at primary caregivers include being housed at least 1,000 feet from any school, child care or day care center and that no more than five medical marijuana patients can be assisted in a week by one caregiver. The medical marijuana has to be locked and secured inside the home as well.

Doug Orton is the host of the Brighton Area Compassion Club, a group that works to provide information on using and growing medical marijuana to patients and caregivers. He's attending the meeting on Thursday and he's worried about safety issues for primary caregivers.

"Caregivers should not have to give out their addresses to anyone, because when you're doing caregiving you're dealing with 12 plants for each patient, and that opens them up to robbery," he said. "I can't see it being a big problem in Brighton, but we're talking about a product worth its weight in gold."

Orton instead suggested that a club like his have a physical building for patients to get their medical marijuana, a place that can be secured with cameras and other safety precautions.

The City Council meeting takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: brighton.patch.com
Author: Jacob Kanclerz
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Patch
Website: Brighton City Council to Consider Home Occupation Route for Medical Marijuana
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