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Lansing Marijuana Ordinance Would Let Dispensaries Stay Put

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Medical marijuana businesses would be allowed in commercial and industrial zones under a proposed ordinance moved out of a Lansing City Council committee Thursday. The drafted regulations now go to the city's planning board, where they will be reviewed before they are sent to the full council.

Where to allow businesses operating under Michigan's 2008 voter-approved medical marijuana law had been a sticking point for the council's public safety committee, comprised of Councilwomen Carol Wood, A'Lynne Robinson and Tina Houghton.

Many of the city's 48 existing operations are along commercial strips, such as Michigan Avenue. Previous draft ordinances had restricted medical marijuana to industrial zones, which would have found all but five of them out of compliance when the city's moratorium on licenses ends July 1.

Adding commercial zoning would enable them to stay where they are. They would apply for licenses within 10 days of the ordinance taking effect.

Some would need to be grandfathered in because they otherwise wouldn't meet requirements to stay 1,000 feet from schools, churches, child centers and other marijuana businesses, City Attorney Brig Smith said. Grandfathering would end when ownership changes hands.

Some caregivers told the committee they have invested in their current sites and could lose patients if they had to move.

But eastside residents are concerned about the proximity of commercial corridors to neighborhoods. They unsuccessfully sought a 60-day moratorium extension.

In addition, attorney Thomas Hitch sent a letter to Smith, dated Wednesday, on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, arguing that "the net effect of grandfathering these dispensaries is that there is no zoning regulation precisely in the areas where the regulation is needed the most."

Wood and Houghton said they would be open to considering a request from eastside residents to set a cap on the number of sites to open in the city.

Wood, the committee's chairwoman, was the sole opponent to allowing commercial zoning.

"They were looking for some assurance that there would be a limitation," she said of residents.


News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: lansingstatejournal.com
Author: Lindsay VanHulle
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: lansingstatejournal.com
Website: Lansing marijuana ordinance would let dispensaries stay put
 
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