The City of Cedar passed an ordinance at their regular City Council meeting last Thursday, August 11, regulating the dispensation of medical marijuana as a home occupation.
“We are on our third moratorium and our legal counsel recommended we not adopt another moratorium,” explained City Manager Christine Burns. “They recommended we look at some tried and true ordinances, such as ones in Greenville and Grand Rapids. Our planning commission also recommended we adopt this.”
Under the ordinance, home occupations must be approved by the Zoning Administrator, who will issue a permit upon receipt of an application and the payment of a processing fee. Inspections of dwelling units will be conducted by the City’s Building Inspector.
All medical marijuana must be contained within the main building (no outbuildings) in an area that is locked and inaccessible on all sides to everyone except the primary caregiver or qualifying patient. This will be reviewed and approved by the building inspector and police department. It will only be allowed in single-family homes.
All registered primary caregivers must be located outside of a 1,000-foot radius from school property or library.
The ordinance prohibits marijuana dispensaries, collectives and cooperatives. Only one registered primary caregiver is allowed per dwelling. The marijuana cannot be dispensed at the caregiver’s location, but must be delivered to the patient or other location.
Solon Township and the Village of Sand Lake still have a moratorium on medical marijuana, and Nelson Township is currently working on an ordinance.
Supporters of medical marijuana say it helps ease nausea and vomiting, stimulates hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, and decreases eye pressure in glaucoma patients. Patients must have a doctor’s prescription to use it.
Although some states (including Michigan) have approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes, the federal government outlaws its use, even for a medical condition. Since Michigan voted to approve it, municipalities have struggled with writing ordinances regulating the issue.