2018-02-11 / News

Planning board suggests revisiting marijuana ordinance

By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

CITY OF MONTROSE – During the Thursdsay, Feb. 8 meeting of the Montrose City Planning Commission, vice chairman Frank Taylor recommended that the city council revisits the medical marijuana issue.

Taylor said, “There’s nothing that simply states ‘the City of Montrose does not allow the sale of marijuana for any reason.’ It’s been stated over and over that people don’t want it sold here.”

“I’m saying this now, because of what happened during prohibition,” Taylor said. He explained that if the state votes in favor of allowing recreational marijuana, the city would need to have an ordinance prohibiting the sale of marijuana in the city in place, before the proposal goes on the ballot.

Councilman Mark Richard said, “I’ll inform the council.”

Taylor asked, “When are the shops that are currently selling [marijuana in the city] going to close?”

Planning board member Anthony Brown said they should wait on the state. He explained that unless they wait for the state, the city would end up in a lawsuit. “They have more money than you do,” Brown said.

Taylor responded, “Currently, it’s illegal to sell in the state.”

Brown explained how marijuana distributors that are set up like a club can get around that aspect of the law. Taylor argued the point. but Brown responded, “Do you want to spend $20,000 to $30,000 to prove you’re right? Their lawyers will break you.”

Planning board chairman Todd Pangle said, “Traverse City got sued.”

Brown said, “Fenton too.”

Pangle agreed, “It’s best to wait for the state.” He explained that many of the high officials working for Michigan’s Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs (LARA) have been marijuana advocates for years.

Taylor said, “You have to have [the ordinance] adopted before it gets on the ballot.”

Pangle agreed, saying that municipalities in California and Colorado fought cases. “You’ll go bankrupt proving you’re right,” he said.

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