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Burton Planning Commission Approves Medical Marijuana Ordinance


Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
BURTON, Michigan – City Council members will have their say on regulating medical marijuana businesses in January after the city Planning Commission approved guidelines for dispensaries, compassion clubs and growing facilities.

City attorney Richard Austin and Department of Public Works employee Amber Frost have been crafting the ordinance, which mimics the one created in Imlay Township, since October.

Under the proposed ordinance:

- Dispensaries, growing facilities, or compassion clubs must be at least 500 feet from another dispensary; 200 feet from a residential district; 1,000 feet from a school, nursery, licensed day care center or other building used for care or instruction of children; 1,000 feet from any church or other religious facility; and 1,000 feet from a public park.

- Dispensaries must be owned or operated by two unrelated primary caregivers. All employees would have to have either a primary caregivers card or a patient card issued by the state.

- Clubs and dispensaries could operate in the general business district and in the light industrial district. Growers could only operate in the light industrial district.

- Facilities could operate only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

- People under 18 years old will not be allowed inside any of the premises, unless they have a valid state medical marijuana registry card.

- Dispensaries must maintain records on where their inventory comes from.

- Businesses must have an alarm system, video surveillance cameras, and proper ventilation, must operate in an enclosed structure and will be subject to random inspections by the city and law enforcement.

A stipulation was removed calling for one caregiver per every 1,300 square foot of a building.

Jeremy Rupinkski, director of the Genesee County Compassion Club, questioned if requiring all employees working at one of the sites to possess a medical marijuana card would violate the equal employment opportunity laws.

"We just want to make sure they clarified that in the ordinance," said Rupinski, who called the wording by the city "a positive-based ordinance headed in the right direction."

"They seem open-minded to listen," he said.

Rupinski has been in discussions with city officials about the ordinance and was pleased with what he read and the fact it "creates a clear path to operate" while addressing any concerns from the public.

Burton has good potential for drawing in medical marijuana business, with "a lot of retail and industrial space available" and many of the club's members are from the area, Rupinski said.

City Council members must approve the ordinance twice before it becomes law. Businesses could begin opening in February or March if it is approved next month, Frost said.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: MLive.com
Author: Roberto Acosta
Contact: MLive.com
Copyright: 2010 Michigan Live LLC
Website: Burton Planning Commission approves medical marijuana ordinance; council to vote in January
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