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Plainwell May Extend Moratorium on Medical Marijuana

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Plainwell City Council members will be asked Monday, March 28, ( today ) to extend the city's moratorium on medical marijuana businesses setting up in the city.

The city's proposed ordinance, which would regulate medical marijuana caregivers, as a home-based business, was originally planned to go the council after a public hearing Wednesday, March 23, but was delayed.

"We're going to extend the moratorium one month to get more information," city manager Erik Wilson said.

The proposed ordinance would allow registered caregivers, as defined by the state law passed by voters in 2008, to conduct business in their homes in Plainwell.

"The city's trying to strike a balance," Wilson said. "The ordinance we're looking at is similar to what Otsego has already done.

"The city intends to comply with the law, so these people can get the medicine they need, but the question is what the best land use for that."

Otsego passed its ordinance in October.

Some of the Plainwell draft's requirements include:

. No more than one primary caregiver allowed per property;

. No more than five patients can be assisted within any calendar week;

. Caregivers must be located more than 1,000 feet from any school or library;

. No more than two patients are allowed on the premises at one time.

After the public hearing, city clerk Noreen Farmer said the changes being looked at were minor, including changes needed to the city's policies about the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. The voter-passed law requires that the identities of registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers be kept confidential.

Farmer said there were also a few questions about the legality of compassion clubs, which are organizations of medical marijuana patients and caregivers.

Wilson said the city's information is that they are illegal and not affected by the state law.

"Our city attorney is saying that there isn't authority under the law that allows 70 to 80 to 90 people to get together and share marijuana," he said.

The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association defines a compassion club as a place for people to meet and not to swap or share marijuana.

The Plainwell ordinance doesn't mention compassion clubs.

NewsHawk: Jim Behr: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Allegan County News (MI)
Copyright: 2011 Allegan County News
Contact: http://mapinc.org/url/FSVaGOJG
Website: Allegan News Online
Details: MAP: Media Directory
Author: Daniel Pepper
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