2018-09-23 / News

City council specifies number and types of medical marijuana facilities ahead of election

By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

MONTROSE – During the Thursday, Sept. 20 meeting, the Montrose City Council decided on the maximum quantity of each type of medical marijuana facility that would be allowed if the city’s medical marijuana ordinance passes on the November ballot.

The city’s medical marijuana proposal references the original ordinance drafted by the Montrose City Planning Commission. Within that ordinance, the planning commission indicated that zero dispensaries (places selling marijuana) would be allowed within the city. However, the planning commission left it up to the city council to determine the number of other medical marijuana facilities that would be allowed.

On Sept. 20, Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Richard talked about the passage of the marijuana ordinance in Bay City. He explained that if they were to compare the number of marijuana facilities licenses allowed in Bay City, apples-to-apples, with either the population or land mass of Montrose, the calculation would be one or less facilities in Montrose.

Council member Ryan Heslop suggested that to avoid the perception of impropriety, there should be at least two of the permitted facilities.

Councilwoman Christy Sanborn said, “I have concerns with the growing. There are people who grow it within the city and it stinks.” She explained that by leaving it for the voters to approve, the city cannot make any changes to the ordinance. The council would have had to adopt it on its own in order to be able to make changes to the ordinance. The council does have the ability to specify the number of facilities other than dispensaries.

Sanborn said, “I can’t vote on it (due to my job with the State of Michigan). But I think we should have a higher number for testing and transport facilities. Those are labor opportunities. I would say up to five testing and up to five transport facilities. There is an open industrial space and the road can handle it.”

Councilman Robert Arnold said, “I have a friend in the industry. He said the biggest money makers are testing, transportation and processing facilities. These have the highest profit with the lowest risk.” The Montrose City Council voted on the number of medical marijuana facilities that would be allowed under the city ordinance if it passes in the November election. They are as follows: zero dispensaries, five transportation facilities, five testing facilities, two grow facilities and two processing facilities.

The vote passed with council members Mark Richard, Robert Arnold and Ryan Heslop in favor, Thomas Bigelow opposed and Christy Sanborn recused; Mayor Colleen Brown and Councilwoman Deb Gross were absent.

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