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City considers first marijuana retail business

City considers first marijuana retail business

The Cedar Springs Planning Commission have asked Lume Cannabis to revise their plan for the building to reflect something other than purple, more windows, and less metal.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Planning Commission held a public hearing and reviewed plans during their regular meeting Tuesday for what could possibly become the first of several marijuana businesses in Cedar Springs.

Lume Cannabis is applying for an adult-use marihuana retail license for 16 N. Main St—currently the home of Vitale’s Pizza. John Abbo, of Lume, was on hand to represent the company, and explained that they are headquartered out of their main office in Troy, Michigan. “We’re currently one of the largest recreational establishment operators in the state of Michigan,” he explained. “Right now we currently have 10 open locations throughout the state of Michigan. The closest to you is in Big Rapids, and we also have one coming to Lowell. Here we would be a standalone recreational establishment.”

Abbo also explained that the owners of the organization are also the owners of Belle Tire—Bob and Don Barnes, and that they are approaching this business the same way, wanting to be one of the biggest retail operations in Michigan. “We saw Cedar Springs has an opportunity here to establish our brand,” he said.

Residents who attended the Zoom meeting had a chance to comment on how they felt about the business coming to Main Street, and the Planning Commissioners asked questions. No action was taken yet on the application.

“Planning Commission did want the developer to present new plans showing the front façade with more windows, less corrugated metal and a color other than purple,” said City Manager Mike Womack. “The PC also wanted more detail on exterior lighting and a plan for closing the adjacent alleyway to thru-vehicle traffic. Lume will have to address those concerns and resubmit a new plan for the September 1st meeting.”

A couple of people expressed concern that there is no limitation on the number of marijuana businesses that could come into the city. There are two more applications and pubic hearings scheduled for September’s meeting. One application is for a retail and processor in the Discount Fireworks building on White Creek, and another application for what would be a new building between Nonno’s and the Dollar Store. (See public notices on page 13) The Post asked Womack why no limitation was set by the City Council on the number of marijuana businesses they will accept.

“We did discuss the possibility of limiting marihuana business licenses but there were some powerful arguments made against doing so. I won’t get into all of those arguments but two in particular would be that marihuana businesses have the money to come in and invest in some of the neglected buildings in town that the current property owners have not invested in,” he explained. “Cleaned, updated and invested in buildings are better for the City overall and better for customers and businesses alike.”

He also noted that if “too many” come in and some of them go out of business due to competition, that would leave many buildings renovated and ready for a non-marijuana business to move in.

“This leads me to the next strong argument which is that the City should not be in the business of choosing winners and losers in getting a city marihuana license and that we trust consumers to use their shopping dollars to support good businesses and not support bad businesses. I fully acknowledge that this is a different approach to marihuana businesses than what most municipalities are doing so it is a bit of a long-term experiment. Time will tell if our approach works better or not.  In the long-term I think this approach will allow the supply and demand  to right itself numbers-wise and the cream will rise to the top so we aren’t stuck with a bad business that just got lucky in winning a license lottery.”  

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One Response to “City considers first marijuana retail business”

  1. Ted says:

    it’s spelled Marijuana*

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