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Categorized | City Hall Corner, News

First dance with Mary Jane

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

In November 2018, Cedar Springs was one of the first communities in Michigan to “opt-out” of the new Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA).  The MRTMA was voted into law as Proposal 1 by Michigan voters at the Nov. 6, 2018 election and is commonly known as the Michigan Recreational Marijuana Law.  The City Council decided to pass ordinances prohibiting the commercial production or sale of marijuana in Cedar Springs at that time due to the uncertainty of the State of Michigan rules for marijuana sales that had not yet been written. The City Council agreed that it would consider reevaluating its position after the Michigan rules were written and released. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), which oversees the commercial marijuana rules in Michigan, released their “emergency rules” on July 3rd, 2019 and indicated that the State of Michigan would start accepting MRTMA license applications on November 1, 2019 with the first recreational marijuana sales expected to begin around February or March 2020 (sooner if LARA allows marijuana transfers to occur between the existing medical marijuana industry and the new recreational marijuana stores).

This means that the Cedar Springs City Council would now like to hear from the Citizens of Cedar Springs with their thoughts on various marijuana business topics, since license applications may start being applied for very soon. Before deciding whether any marijuana business should be allowed to open in the City, the City Council wants to hear citizen’s thoughts on the different types of marijuana businesses, where in the City the marijuana businesses should be allowed to open and operate, how many businesses should be allowed to operate and what reasonable restrictions the City should impose on marijuana businesses that may be allowed to open in the City.  

For instance, should the City allow marijuana growers and processors but not secure transporters? What about marijuana testing facilities? Should the City allow marijuana stores to open in the B-2 (downtown), B-3 (north of downtown) and/or HC (by the 131) zoning districts? Should the City allow marijuana growers to open in the industrial zoning district east of downtown or in the industrial zone in the southwest corner of the City? How many marijuana stores should be allowed to open? What about allowing 2 stores in the B2 downtown district and 2 stores in the HC district? Should the City be imposing reasonable restrictions on marijuana businesses, such as not allowing the use of a marijuana leaf image in their store signage, or requiring that marijuana stores prominently display signage inside the store against distribution of marijuana to minors under the age of 21 or requiring that stores close by 10 PM?

Finally, the City Council has asked me to hold a forum and discuss these questions with the public. That public forum will likely be held in the first week or two of November and will be advertised in multiple locations including the City’s website, Facebook page and posted at City Hall, so stay tuned if you’d like to be involved with that discussion.  If you have any thoughts or questions about the City’s current position on commercial marijuana businesses please contact me at manager@cityofcedarsprings.org or the City through the contact page on the City’s website.

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3 Responses to “First dance with Mary Jane”

  1. Tom Wilkes says:

    Yes. Allow the sales. Hell, I would be willing to sell it myself, and I don’t use it. Collect the revenue and use that to pay for the schools and roads instead of raising property taxes.

  2. Charles Towns says:

    Make sure you pen a letter to the council. I personally feel they should not have “opted out” in the first place. The City voted something like 60% to allow it. The Council then opted out. Did not make much sense to me then. I hope now they allow it.

  3. Joining a legal-monstrosity is not my opinion for advancement. We have more pressing needs that promoting ‘the weed’.




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