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Medical Marijuana Committee to Form?

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EAST JORDAN -- Medical marijuana businesses may be allowed in East Jordan, it's just a matter of how long city officials will take to draft local regulations.

The East Jordan Planning Commission met last week and discussed the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act of 2008 and how it applies to the small city on the shores of Lake Charlevoix's South Arm. City resident John Murray also attended the Thursday meeting to share his plans to open a medical marijuana business there.

"I was looking to opening an office, like a doctor's office, where you make an appointment and come in and get your medication," Murray said.

Last month, East Jordan leaders adopted a six-month moratorium on such businesses to allow time to draft a local ordinance to regulate where those shops can locate and potentially other restrictions. It's up to municipalities to honor the citizen-sponsored and voter-approved state law, said Robert Anderson, zoning and city administrator.

"We do have to come up with something. We can't outlaw it," he said. "Whether or not we agree or disagree doesn't matter."

The board discussed how Michigan's law seemingly contradicts federal laws and various pertinent legal cases currently are working through the state's court systems.

"How can we even consider some type of an ordinance when the law is in flux?" asked Bart Petrich, board member.

Brad Jones, board chairman, asked about required record-keeping and security. He also said that when he voted in favor of this new state law, he believed the drug would be dispensed through pharmacies.

Murray, 26, said he intends to open a facility with strong security that keeps complete records, in an effort to safely serve both local medical marijuana cardholders and those on vacation in Northern Michigan. He would base his business plan off of a facility in Lansing he is familiar with, he said.

However, Murray said he questions why city officials put the kibosh on such businesses, even if just for six months.

"Why would you prolong a shop from opening?" he asked.

Anderson said that like many other communities across the state, East Jordan wants to research the new law and create proper local rules that best suit the community.

Anderson suggested the city create a medical marijuana committee to tackle a local ordinance to regulate such businesses. He will make that recommendation to the East Jordan City Commission at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, when it meets at City Hall, 201 Main St. in East Jordan.

Perhaps representatives of the county prosecutor and sheriff's offices could join the committee, along with Police Chief Dale Boehm Jr., a couple members each from the planning commission and zoning board of appeals and informed city residents, Anderson said.

Murray said he'd be eager to participate with such a committee, as well.

Anderson said he will begin researching how other neighboring communities have regulated medical marijuana businesses, such as Traverse City, where at least eight dispensaries or collectives exist and more are in the works.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: petoskeynews.com
Author: Sheri McWhirter
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Northern Michigan Review
Website: Medical marijuana committee to form?
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