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Plainwell Delays Decision on Marijuana Rules

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Plainwell city officials voted to continue blocking the sale and dispensation of medical marijuana until at least June 8.

The decision came during the council's Monday, March 28, regular meeting.

Medical marijuana was legalized in November 2008 by state referendum.

Prior to their meeting, city officials had until May to finalize an ordinance dealing with medical marijuana dispensation licenses and permits. City manager Erik Wilson said the council needed the extra month to work out "very minor tweaks."

Recently, the city decided to approach issues of licensing by classifying caregivers–those who grow and sell the medical marijuana–as having home-based businesses.

This would allow the city more control over regulation and inspection of the homes where medical marijuana would be dispensed.

Plainwell resident Randy Wisnaski attended the Monday meeting and questioned that classification.

"Does the lady who sells Mary Kay fall under this (home-based business ordinance)?" he asked. "The kid who mows lawns? The guy selling firewood? Do they check on those like they will for the medical marijuana?"

Referring to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, which states that caregivers may only provide the drug to five patients and themselves, Wilson said, "How do you operate a commercial business with only six customers?"

Wisnaski, who said he agrees with the city's intentions, is concerned with the financial aspect of the process.

"To me, it seems like Plainwell is stuck on this," he said. "There's too much taxpayer money being spent here."

Despite the cost, Wilson said that Plainwell's home-business ordinance approach wasn't out of the ordinary. It is exactly what the City of Allegan is in the process of implementing and Otsego already has.

One of the tweaks that Wilson said Plainwell is going to implement is a policy that supersedes the Freedom of Information Act. For example, Wilson said that if someone was granted a permit, journalists and other citizens alike would be denied access to the names of people who buy medical marijuana from the permitted caregiver.

Wilson said the purpose was to protect patient confidentiality.

The revised draft ordinance, which includes the aforementioned adjustments, will be presented during a special planning commission meeting Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. at city hall. From there, it will return to the council's desk to be voted on at a later date.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: allegannews.com
Author: Dustin McNees
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: allegannews.com
Website: Plainwell Delays Decision on Marijuana Rules
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