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E.L. Accepts First Dispensary Application

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MICH.--In the coming months, East Lansing will look a shade greener than ever before in the city's history.

The first application for an East Lansing medical marijuana dispensary was submitted to the city's planning department on Tuesday, Community Development Analyst Tim Schmitt said.

The dispensary – which has yet to be constructed – will be housed in a new, two-story office building located on Lake Lansing Road, just east of Abbot Road, Tim Schmitt said.

The future owner, whose name was submitted on the application form, could not be reached for comment.

The submission came a day shy of the one-month anniversary of the end of East Lansing's medical marijuana moratorium -– which expired on May 15 – though the city has legally accepted applications since the medical marijuana ordinance went into effect April 6.

"Growing the ordinance"

The medical marijuana moratorium was voted into effect in August 2010, temporarily banning all dispensaries in East Lansing.

Numerous discussions and public hearings followed throughout the year before the council passed the ordinance in March 2011.

The ordinance only allows dispensaries to be opened in B4 business districts, nearly all of which are north of Lake Lansing Road, far from downtown business areas. Storefront retail operations, similar to those on Michigan Avenue in Lansing, are not permitted.

"In many cases, most of our (B4) office buildings are multi-tenant buildings," City Manager Ted Staton said, noting they house many different kinds of medical clinics.

The new dispensary application submission ends weeks of stagnancy on the issue – no one officially submitted an application before Tuesday – though dozens had toyed with the idea, requesting information and guidelines on opening a dispensary within the city limits, Planning and Zoning Administrator Darcy Schmitt said.

Darcy Schmitt said although about 30 people have inquired in the weeks since the city began accepting applications, many don't come back after they have all the information.

"Once they realize it's not finding a location and opening the doors – that there's an actual process you have to go through – very few have been back," she said.

Schmitt said the first dispensary is significant because it will partially decide where subsequent dispensaries can be, because of zoning requirements that require dispensaries to be a certain distance from other types of establishments, including 500 feet from other dispensaries.

"The first one coming in is kind of going to dictate, to some extent, where the next one can or can't be," she said.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: statenews.com
Author: Ian Kullgren
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: The State News
Website: E.L. accepts first dispensary application
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