LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – A big issue that is facing local governments in Michigan today is how to regulate medical marijuana.
This week, Governor Snyder signed a law that leaves it up to local municipalities to regulate the location and number of dispensaries in their communities.
So what does that mean for Lansing?
The first decision to make is if medical marijuana shops will be allowed within their borders.
If the answer to that is “yes” then it’s up to the cities and towns themselves to regulate them.
“There is geographic areas that they’re only allowed to be in. These are zoning requirements and this is in a commercial, in wholesale and light and heavy industrial areas.
So these are mainly along corridors or in business areas<" says Councilmember Carol Wood. "We don't believe that they're appropriate in residential areas or in office areas and that type of thing."
Overall Councilmember Wood says this is a good thing.
She says the city finally has the tools to regulate medical marijuana shops and make sure they operate within the guidelines.
Mayor Virg Bernero overall agrees, saying the city is certainly moving in the right direction but he says there's still more to figure out along the way.
"We have sort of a headstart I think than a lot of communities because we have an industry to regulate and we have a draft regulation that I think is on like draft 6," says the mayor. "My belief is there will have to be a draft 7 and probably draft 8 maybe a draft 10 because this is several bills this is not one piece of paper. This is a multifacited issue."
There's also the issue of money with this as well.
Just to apply for a license will, at this point, cost $3000.
If it's denied $1500 will be returned.
Wood says there is a chance that fees could go up to $5000 which would help bring even more revenue into the city but at this point that's an evolving issue.
This is a pretty complicated issue and there are many more rules and guidelines to it.
The proposed ordinance can be read in the document below.
If you would like your voice heard on the issue— council plans to hear public comment on october 24th
Proposed Lansing Ordinance: mmordinancehighlighteddraft6a