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Lansing Medical Marijuana Ordinance Facing Criticism From Both Sides

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Lansing, MI--Lansing's more than 6-month medical marijuana moratorium is running out of time.

It expires July 1st and the Lansing City Council is expected to vote on the ordinance to take its place on Monday.

The ordinance does not have the support of the city's Planning Board, which voted not to recommend it to City Council Thursday night.

The proposed ordinance won't have councilmember Eric Hewitt's support either if there aren't changes made to what's on the table.

"My problem with the way the ordinance is currently written is that it has gaping holes," said Hewitt. "When there are gaping holes a lot of unintended consequences occur. I want to see us tighten it up."

The ordinance allows the city's 48 current dispensaries to remain open in their current locations, but places strict limitations on new dispensaries

As the proposed ordinance is currently written, dispensaries are limited to certain commercial and industrial zoning areas. They must be 1,000 feet away from schools, universities, places of worship, playgrounds, child care centers, substance abuse facilities and any other dispensary.

New owners would be required to submit to a background check, can't have had a felony drug conviction in the last 7 years, need to submit a security plan and buy insurance. Dispensaries wouldn't be allowed to be open between 11PM and 7AM and consumption of marijuana on premises wouldn't be allowed except for "instructional" purposes.

Dispensary owner Roberto, who declined to provide his last name, told WILX he thinks the restrictions in the ordinance are a little too strict.

"I think they're not treating it as medical marijuana but something more dangerous," said Roberto, who owns Tri-Castle Cannabuzz.

Several neighborhood groups aren't happy with the ordinance either. They expressed concerns with the "grandfathering in" of current dispensaries and with the clustering of dispensaries in certain areas like Michigan Avenue.

What there appeared to be some consensus on is that the city could use more time to sort through some of these issues. Lansing's Planning Board recommended that the moratorium be extended along with a list of other corrections on Thursday.

But City Attorney Brig Smith cautioned that a moratorium extension isn't necessarily an option that the city has available to it at this point, meaning the pressure is on for City Council to pass a medical marijuana dispensary ordinance of some kind next Monday before the moratorium expires.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: wilx.com
Author: Alex Goldsmith
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Gray Television, Inc.
Website: Lansing Medical Marijuana Ordinance Facing Criticism From Both Sides
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