Medical marijuana ordinance frustrates Lansing city council


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Back in May, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero issued a moratorium to be placed on all medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Lansing meaning it blocked all new dispensaries from opening. But, if your business was up and running before the moratorium was enforced, you were in the clear.

Since the moratorium passed, there’s been a large number of complaints from people and medical marijuana businesses and the question tonight is do these complaints stem from confusion between what’s legal or not with medical marijuana?

14 drafts and counting…that’s how many times the city of Lansing has altered the most recent ordinance to regulate medical marijuana in the city.

“It is frustrating, it’s frustrating for the council, it’s frustrating for the public, it’s frustrating even for dispensary owners,” said At-Large Councilmember Carol Wood.

For months, the city council has tried to come up with an ordinance that works for everyone but not everybody agrees.

“We had the city attorney’s office say they need an additional 60 days to do to re-examine some of the work based on the passage of the state statute,” Wood stated.

Wood says the council is at a stand-still and although it may be frustrating, it’s important to make sure people understand the ordinance before it passes.

“We’ve got at least 60 days before we hear something back from the city attorney’s office and if we wait for the state to propagate their rules, it could be 15 months…that’s a long time,” said Wood.

A long time indeed…in fact to Lansing local Elaine Womboldt it’s too long and she’d like to see something done immediately.

“We have no regulations, they can do anything they want, be anywhere they want and we need to have some continuum and some safety factors for the city of Lansing,” Womboldt stated.

And for Wood, regulating medical marijuana has been a long journey…one she hopes is resolved soon.

“Believe me you know, the frustration is there for a number of us because we have worked diligently on this,” said Wood.

Wood says with the number of things that call for a special hearing on the medical marijuana ordinance, it’s not likely the new ordinance will be approved by the end of this year.

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