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Medical Marijuana Dispensary Controversy in Alba

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A medical marijuana dispensary in Antrim County is under the gun.

The owner says she's going by the book while township and county officials question if her shop is even legal.

Lois Dustin calls it the Alba Northern Light Compassionate Club and it's a place to pick up your marijuana if you have a medical marijuana card.

But county officials say the medical marijuana law is so vague they can't even say if the place is legal or not.

"I couldn't believe it happened. I can understand it in Traverse and other cities, but not around here," explained Leila Fales.

Fales looks out her window, through a children's playground, to the newest business in town. It’s the non-profit Alba Northern Light Compassionate Club.

“Whoever wants it goes and buys it if they have the card," said Fales.

The Compassionate Club is in the small town of Alba in Chestonia Township at the corner of a busy intersection where Alba Road meets US 131. Its location is to attract the state's 64,000 registered medical marijuana card holders.

"I just want to give back and help somebody have a better life," explained Alba Northern Light Compassion Club owner Lois Dustin.

Dustin says she did her research and opened for business March 1st.

"Everything’s legal, everything's by the books, we have everything under lock and key at all times, nobody comes through that door without a medical card," said Dustin.

But the Chestonia Township Supervisor Robert Beckner says not so fast.

“They are open illegally," Beckner said.

Beckner says Alba Northern Light opened after the township put a hold on medical marijuana dispensaries until regulations could be set up.

"We’re not for it or against it, we just have to make up the rules so it affects everybody," said Beckner.

But the Antrim County Prosecutor Charlie Koop says he questions if dispensaries are legal in the first place. he says in the state statute, he interprets it to say a caregiver can have a max of five patients, 12 plants for each one, not have what he calls a retail shop.

“To me, it seems they are selling marijuana in violation of the law, which makes them a drug dealer," said Koop.

He says the law is poorly written and ambiguous. Another problem? There's not a state-wide system of regulation and a lot of it is open for interpretation. But regardless, Lois Dustin says she's by the books, both legal and compliant.

Prosecutor Charlie Koop says he’s currently looking at ways to make sure the business is in compliance.

As far as a Chestonia Township ordinance -- Leaders are voting on a draft at their board meeting Monday night.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: upnorthlive.com
Author: Andrew Keller
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Barrington Broadcasting Group, LLC
Website: Medical marijuana dispensary controversy in Alba
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