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Law Michigan MMJ

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Ann Arbor taking steps to allow recreational marijuana shops

ANN ARBOR, MI – Recreational marijuana shops are coming and city leaders aim to embrace them.

Ann Arbor has drafted new rules to allow several different types of recreational cannabis enterprises.

That includes new “marijuana micro-businesses” and onsite consumption establishments serving adults 21 and older, in addition to growing and processing facilities and retail dispensaries.

The city already is home to many medical marijuana businesses that are now planning to expand into a new market.

Acknowledging Ann Arbor’s decades-long history of pot activism, City Council voted 8-2 to initially OK a pair of ordinances laying out the new rules Monday night, Sept. 16.

They include allowing temporary permits for events with onsite sale and consumption of marijuana.

The draft rules are expected back at council for public hearings and final approval in October, just before the state begins accepting license applications from recreational marijuana businesses Nov. 1.

Michigan voters legalized marijuana in November 2018 and hundreds of communities across the state have since banned such businesses locally, but Ann Arbor is signaling they’ll be welcome here.

Consumption establishments are defined as any commercial space licensed by the state to allow adults 21 and older to consume marijuana products onsite.

City leaders are planning to allow dispensaries to double as consumption establishments or social-use clubs with proper permits.

A marijuana micro-business is defined as a business that cultivates up to 150 plants, processes and packages cannabis products and sells them to people 21 or older or to safety-compliance facilities. They can’t sell their products to other businesses.

Council Members Jeff Hayner, D-1st Ward, and Jane Lumm, I-2nd Ward, voted against the draft rules, arguing they’re not ready for “prime time” and there’s no need to rush.

“Ann Arbor is going to be marijuana central if we pass all this stuff,” Hayner said.

Hayner raised concerns there were no limits on the number of permits that could be issued for various types of marijuana businesses, except for the city’s existing cap of 28 for dispensaries. He suggested a 36-permit cap in each marijuana business category.

A majority of council members instead chose to keep the 28-permit cap for dispensaries (26 are approved already) and equally cap the number of consumption establishments and micro-businesses at 28 each, with no caps for grow operations or other facilities.

City officials have been working on the ordinances for months, said Mayor Christopher Taylor, indicating the council needs to act quickly now if it wants them in place before Nov. 1.

It’s a topic of considerable interest to residents and deserves more public discussion and input, Lumm said, suggesting temporarily opting out of allowing recreational marijuana businesses and taking more time to work out the regulations.

“I just think it’s critical to get it right,” she said.

Others worried about the message it would send to opt out, even temporarily. Ann Arbor has been called the cannabis capital of the Midwest and is home to the long-running Hash Bash marijuana festival.

“It’s important to know that Ann Arbor has a long history with trying to decriminalize marijuana,” said Council Member Ali Ramlawi, D-5th Ward. “It started 50 years ago, and the message of opting out would have a very negative impact, I think, on the movement.”

“I’m not going to support an opting out. Ann Arbor is a leader in this area,” said Council Member Kathy Griswold, D-2nd Ward, arguing council needs to rise to the occasion and get the job done.
https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2019/04/the-science-of-weed-ann-arbor-lab-makes-sure-dispensaries-sell-high-quality-bud.html
Council is planning to hold a work session Sept. 23 to discuss the regulations in more detail before considering final approval Oct. 7, when there will be public hearings.

Existing marijuana businesses in Ann Arbor have operated responsibly, Ramlawi said, adding they want to be good community partners and they know “all eyes and ears will be watching them.”

While 78% of Ann Arbor voters supported marijuana legalization in 2018, some community members have expressed concerns about marijuana facilities, council members acknowledged.

Hayner said he voted for marijuana legalization in 2018 because he’s a longtime proponent of decriminalization.

“I didn’t vote for Prop 1 to have 600 distribution and consumption facilities open in my community,” he said.

“And I have had people come up to me and say they have legitimate concerns about the placement of these, and legitimate concerns about large money flowing to the cities that do allow this use and it driving out other businesses that serve a broader portion of the community.”

A former preschool and the MD Bagel Fragel shop are empty now because “people are sitting on them with marijuana money” in anticipation of recreational marijuana, Hayner said.

“There’s going to be money flowing here from all over the place, and so I think it’s reasonable to have limits on all of these,” he said.

“Unless we want to just take the lid off and turn into, you know, marijuana central.”

Hayner also questioned why the city’s draft rules don’t allow marijuana consumption establishments in office districts.

They’re more of a transactional, retail-type use, said Brett Lenart, the city’s planning manager.

Hayner noted the city recently changed zoning rules to allow restaurants in office areas.

“Maybe somebody’s employer would allow them to do a bong hit at lunch or whatever,” he said.

The proposed zoning rules limit where marijuana businesses can be located and include buffer requirements to avoid clustering.

Under the draft rules, no marijuana dispensary or micro-business could be within 600 feet of another, though there would be no buffer requirements between consumption establishments. Marijuana facilities still must be 1,000 feet from schools.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Secret recording emerges in lawsuit over Warren's marijuana licensing process
Warren's mayor calls system 'flawed'

WARREN, Mich. - A secret recording was played in a Macomb County courtroom Friday in connection with the ongoing drama surrounding licensing marijuana facilities in Warren.

The recording was made by one of the investors in Pure Roots LLC, a well-financed marijuana group that wanted to spend $10 million and employ 100 people in Warren but did not get far in the process.

According to a lawsuit, the recording is of Warren City Councilman Ron Papandrea.

"The best I can do for you is when you sue, I'll tell the truth. That's the best I can do because that's my policy anyway, right? I'm not going to lie to the court, I'll tell them I was against it for political reasons. It had nothing to do with the value of your application."

Politics is precisely what is not supposed to be considered when making license decisions by Warren's own ordinance. The types of things that should be considered are financing, site plans, security plans and charitable donations to the community.

"It's truly disturbing that in this day and age, something like this could be going on," said attorney Chris Cataldo.

Cataldo is asking a judge to halt Warren's licensing process. This is just the latest lawsuit filed against the city alleging shenanigans in the process.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said he's ready to veto license approvals because he's concerned about the process.

"It was a flawed system," Fouts said. "It was subjective, and it opens up to lawsuits, and the city cannot afford potentially 50 lawsuits."
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Michigan House considers expungement of marijuana, traffic convictions

LANSING—Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders would be eligible to set aside their criminal record — or parts of it — under a bill package before the state House Judiciary Committee.

The proposal to expand criminal expungement would include misdemeanor marijuana convictions for conduct that is now considered legal under the adult-use marijuana law passed in November, as well as most traffic offenses. But expungement of pot convictions would not be automatic, to the chagrin of some Democrats.

The bills would automatically expunge non-violent convictions after 10 years — changes that experts said would have a big impact on people’s’ reoffense rates and on their ability to secure jobs and housing.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers lauded the six-bill package they say would make Michigan a national leader in expungement reform, though multiple Democrats criticized certain provisions for not going far enough.

“It’s one of those things that’s truly and profoundly good,” Rep. Eric Leutheuser, R-Hillsdale, told the judiciary committee Tuesday. “I think we could be making one of the most significant efforts in generations to help our fellow citizens gain fuller participation in our common life.”

Expunging (or “setting aside”) a crime doesn’t completely erase a conviction; police and prosecutors would still be able to see previous convictions for investigations and it would still count as a prior offense if a person is later sentenced for another crime. But it would make those convictions invisible to the general public, including prospective employers and landlords, who often turn away candidates with criminal records.

“You clear up someone’s criminal history and overnight there’s this jump in employability and a jump in income, statistically.”
— Rep. David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids
The package includes a bill that would expunge many crimes automatically after a certain period of time — that’s different than the regular expungement process, which requires people with criminal records eligible for expungement to petition the court and go in front of a judge, who determines whether to grant it. Marijuana crimes would not be eligible for automatic expungement.

The package would, among other things:
  • Automatically expunge up to two felonies or four misdemeanor convictions that are currently eligible for possible expungement 10 years after sentencing, probation, parole or finishing time in prison (whatever comes last) if they’ve remained crime-free. Lawmakers indicated Tuesday the bills will likely be amended to allow expungement of up to two felonies AND four misdemeanors to avoid unintentionally limiting the options.
  • The felonies and misdemeanors can’t be assaultive or a serious misdemeanor, and must have a maximum punishment of less than 10 years in prison. That would rule out violent crimes such as sexual assault, armed robbery, domestic violence, murder and more. Crimes that are already eligible for expungement in Michigan would also fall under this bill. You can check whether your offenses are eligible using this interactive tool.
  • Make most traffic violations eligible for expungement after four years and automatic expungement after 10. It would exclude DUIs, offenses committed by those with commercial drivers’ licenses, moving violations in work or school zones, car accidents resulting in death, failure to stop for a police officer and hit and runs.
  • Make any marijuana misdemeanors that are now legal under the new adult-use marijuana law eligible for expungement.
  • Allow people with up to three non-violent felonies to get up to two felonies and four misdemeanors expunged. Currently, only misdemeanors are eligible for expungement, and people with more than one felony and two misdemeanors are ineligible.
  • Change the wait time before misdemeanors can be expunged from five years to three; eligible multiple felonies to seven years; and serious misdemeanors or a single felony to five years (felonies and serious misdemeanors previously were not eligible for expungement).
  • Treat similar crimes committed within 24 hours as one felony conviction rather than multiple. This is known as “one bad night” legislation, but would exclude violent crimes and those with a maximum prison sentence of 10 years or more.
“You clear up someone’s criminal history and overnight there’s this jump in employability and a jump in income, statistically,” said Rep. David LaGrand, D-Grand Rapids. “So we have this opportunity to do something that will massively improve the quality of lives of probably hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents.”

Sonja Starr, a criminal law professor at the University of Michigan who testified before the committee and later spoke with Bridge, said she found in a recent study that expungement has a significant positive impact on peoples’ lives. That includes a 25-percent increase in wages within two years and extremely low rates of reoffending.
No one spoke against the legislation Tuesday, but some lawmakers and people testifying questioned whether the wait time in the automatic expungement proposal should be shortened from 10 to five or seven years and whether marijuana crimes should also be eligible for automatic expungement.

Only around 6 percent of people eligible to get their criminal records expunged do so within five years, and only around 11 percent do it in their lifetime, Starr said. “That’s an incredibly depressing number,” she said.

There are a number of possible reasons for that, she said: People don’t know the option exists, they don’t understand how to navigate the legal system, or they don’t have a lawyer or can’t afford one. Increasing the number, type and timeframe of automatic expungements would help with that, she said.

Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, who has previously introduced legislation that would automatically expunge records for low-level pot crimes, also criticized that the House bills would require people to petition a court rather than clearing pot convictions automatically:

“People who have committed very petty crimes should be able to get rid of those without having to jump through additional hoops, including having to file hundreds of thousands of unnecessary applications with the courts,” he told Detroit Free Press. He also told Bridge that limiting the legislation to only include misdemeanor crimes would greatly limit the number of people who could get their marijuana records expunged, as certain things that are now legal (such as carrying 2.5 ounces at a time or growing up to 12 plants in your house) would have been considered felonies under the old law.

House Judiciary Chair Rep. Graham Filler, R-DeWitt, said the decision not to include marijuana crimes in the automatic expungement proposal is intended for instances in which someone actually committed more serious pot crimes — such as dealing — but were able to plead down to conviction for a smaller crime.

Filler said he doesn’t expect many changes to the legislation before the next committee hearing despite those suggestions because the bills “represent a compromise” between law enforcement and civil liberty groups.

“If people are going to try to get everything they want in this bill, they run the risk of actually killing bills and stopping good expungement bills that are going to give access to tons of people and continue to make the public safe,” Filler said.

If passed, Starr said, the package would put Michigan among other states like Pennsylvania and Utah in being some of the first to pass expansive reform including automatic expungement.

It’s unclear exactly how many more people statewide would be eligible for expungement under the proposed guidelines, but Jeffrey Herbstman, Senior Data Scientist for the City of Detroit, said the legislation would help around 335,000 more people who are currently ineligible for expungement in Wayne County alone.

The committee is expected to hold a second hearing on the legislation in the coming weeks before voting. If it passes out of committee, it would go to the House floor before repeating the process in the Senate and heading to the governor’s desk.

This story has been updated to note that only marijuana misdemeanors would be eligible for expungement under the proposed law, rather than all former marijuana crimes that are now legal.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Michigan police roadside drug testing program starts today: What to know
Drivers may be screened orally for drugs


DETROIT - A second phase of roadside drug testing will begin Tuesday, Michigan State Police announced.

According to police, Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs in recent years. In 2018, there were 247 drug-involved traffic fatalities.
"The Michigan State Police conducted a one-year Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot program, which concluded in November 2018, in five counties -- Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw. The initial pilot provided valuable data on the performance of the oral fluid test instrument when coupled with law enforcement observed driver behavior and standardized field sobriety tests, but the overall sample size was too small to draw any definitive conclusions on the tool’s usefulness for law enforcement," reads a statement from state police.

During that trial period between November 2017 and November 2018, state police said officers conducted 92 oral tests and 74 came back positive for marijuana. However, five of the positive tests came back as false positive after a blood test.

In Dec. 2018, the Michigan Legislature agreed to support the ongoing funding of the oral fluid pilot
and the expansion of the pilot program to additional interested, qualified counties around the state.

An appropriation of $626,000 for the extension of the Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot Program was
included in the supplemental funding bill that became Public Act 618 of 2018.

How it works
According to state police, under the pilot program a drug recognition expert (DRE) may require a person to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis to detect the presence of a controlled substance in the person’s body if they suspect the driver is impaired by drugs. The preliminary oral fluid analysis will be conducted by a DRE on the person’s oral fluid, obtained by mouth swab, and will be administered along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used by DREs.

The oral fluid test instrument tests for the presence of the following drugs: amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis (delta 9 THC), cocaine, methamphetamines and opiates.

Refusal to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis upon lawful demand of a police officer is a civil infraction.

State police said DREs are police officers who have received highly specified training that allows them to identify drivers impaired by drugs. Although the pilot program is being organized and managed by the MSP, DREs employed by county, township and municipal police agencies are also involved.

Participating law enforcement agencies include:

  • Adrian Township Police Department
  • Allegan County Sheriff’s Department
  • Alma Department of Public Safety
  • Alpena Police Department
  • Ann Arbor Police Department
  • Auburn Hills Police Department
  • Battle Creek Police Department
  • Bay City Police Department
  • Bay County Sheriff’s Office
  • Berrien County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bloomfield Township Police Department
  • Cadillac Police Department
  • Canton Township Police Department
  • Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office
  • Chikaming Township Police Department
  • Clawson Police Department
  • Dearborn Police Department
  • Escanaba Department of Public Safety
  • Gogebic County Sheriff’s Office
  • Grand Blanc Township Police Department
  • Grand Haven Department of Public Safety
  • Grand Rapids Police Department
  • Grand Valley State University Police Department
  • Greenville Department of Public Safety
  • Hamburg Township Police Department
  • Imlay City Police Department
  • Ingham County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department
  • Kent County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lake County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lapeer Police Department
  • Lincoln Township Police Department
  • Livonia Police Department
  • Macomb County Sheriff’s Department
  • Marquette County Sheriff’s Office
  • Menominee Police Department
  • Michigan State Police
  • Midland Police Department
  • Monroe Department of Public Safety
  • Mt. Pleasant Police Department
  • Muskegon Police Department
  • Novi Police Department
  • Oscoda Township Police Department
  • Petoskey Department of Public Safety
  • Pokagon Tribal Police
  • Port Huron Police Department
  • Roscommon County Sheriff’s Department
  • Southfield Police Department
  • St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office
  • Troy Police Department
  • University of Michigan Police Department
  • Washtenaw Co Sheriff’s Office
  • Wayland Police Department
  • Western Michigan University Department of Public Service
  • Ypsilanti Police Department

You can see the full pilot program report by following the title link.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Fall out on this has already started...

Attorney raises privacy concerns about Michigan roadside drug testing program
Neil Rockind says test will show prescription drugs

DETROIT - As Michigan rolls out the second phase of its roadside drug testing program, an attorney is questioning the privacy of the tests.

Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw said he believes the program can save lives, citing the 247 people who were killed by drug-impaired traffic crashes last year.

However, attorney Neil Rockind is challenging the legal privacy aspect of such tests.

"It really tests for things that are prescribed, so it really allows the police to do more than just act on reasonable suspicion or probable cause," Rockind said. "The police can act on guesswork."

If a driver refuses to take the drug test when a police officer wants to administer it, the driver can receive a civil infraction.

Despite this, Rockind advises drivers to not take the test.

He said he doesn't trust the science behind the test. He also said it leaves drivers vulnerable to being arrested even if they aren't acting intoxicated.

How it works
According to state police, under the pilot program a drug recognition expert (DRE) may require a person to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis to detect the presence of a controlled substance in the person’s body if they suspect the driver is impaired by drugs. The preliminary oral fluid analysis will be conducted by a DRE on the person’s oral fluid, obtained by mouth swab, and will be administered along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used by DREs.

The oral fluid test instrument tests for the presence of the following drugs: amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis (delta 9 THC), cocaine, methamphetamines and opiates.

Refusal to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis upon lawful demand of a police officer is a civil infraction.

State police said DREs are police officers who have received highly specified training that allows them to identify drivers impaired by drugs. Although the pilot program is being organized and managed by the MSP, DREs employed by county, township and municipal police agencies are also involved.

The article goes on to list the cities participating in this... as listed in the article I posted above.
 

Shredder

Dogs like me
Fall out on this has already started...

Attorney raises privacy concerns about Michigan roadside drug testing program
Neil Rockind says test will show prescription drugs

DETROIT - As Michigan rolls out the second phase of its roadside drug testing program, an attorney is questioning the privacy of the tests.

Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw said he believes the program can save lives, citing the 247 people who were killed by drug-impaired traffic crashes last year.

However, attorney Neil Rockind is challenging the legal privacy aspect of such tests.

"It really tests for things that are prescribed, so it really allows the police to do more than just act on reasonable suspicion or probable cause," Rockind said. "The police can act on guesswork."

If a driver refuses to take the drug test when a police officer wants to administer it, the driver can receive a civil infraction.

Despite this, Rockind advises drivers to not take the test.

He said he doesn't trust the science behind the test. He also said it leaves drivers vulnerable to being arrested even if they aren't acting intoxicated.

How it works
According to state police, under the pilot program a drug recognition expert (DRE) may require a person to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis to detect the presence of a controlled substance in the person’s body if they suspect the driver is impaired by drugs. The preliminary oral fluid analysis will be conducted by a DRE on the person’s oral fluid, obtained by mouth swab, and will be administered along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used by DREs.

The oral fluid test instrument tests for the presence of the following drugs: amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis (delta 9 THC), cocaine, methamphetamines and opiates.

Refusal to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis upon lawful demand of a police officer is a civil infraction.

State police said DREs are police officers who have received highly specified training that allows them to identify drivers impaired by drugs. Although the pilot program is being organized and managed by the MSP, DREs employed by county, township and municipal police agencies are also involved.

The article goes on to list the cities participating in this... as listed in the article I posted above.
I'm glad he's on it.

Didn't they do something like this before?

I don't like the whole drug recognition expert bullshit either. A junky would be more qualified than a cop with a 2 week course with no tests, and everyone passes. They can look at you and tell that your on drugs, lol. Ya right, doesn't sound like science, more like authority.

Edit a good reason to maintain a card, no?
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
State Supreme Court hears argument to clarify medical marijuana laws

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State Supreme Court heard oral arguments Oct 3, 2019 in a case involving a dispute regarding whether a West Michigan township can restrict where medical marijuana is grown.

The outcome of the case could have a far reaching impact as cities and townships work to evaluate their zoning policies for the medical marijuana industry.

Byron Township has an ordinance that bars registered caregivers from growing marijuana at a commercial property. The state appeals court ruled in July 2018 the ordinance conflicts with Michigan's medical marijuana law.

The Michigan Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday after Byron Township appealed the Court of Appeals decision.


In March 2016, Byron Township officials informed Christie DeRuiter that operating a medical marijuana business in a commercial zone was in violation of the township’s zoning policy and ordered the plaintiff to cease and desist, setting off a lengthy legal process.

The court says local governments can't restrict where caregivers grow medical marijuana as long as the marijuana is in an "enclosed, locked facility."

"We’re not only the case with this issue. There are several other cases that have been decided favorable. I think the Supreme Court feels it’s time to get involved in this," said DeRuiter's attorney Mark Dodge.

The Medical Marijuana Act, passed into law in 2008, allows an approved patients to grow marijuana plants to kept in an enclosed, locked facility.

Craig Norland, an attorney representing Byron Township, argued the Medical Marijuana Act is too vague and the lower court ruling completely slammed the door on any land use zoning regulation that pertains to caregiver grow operations.

"If you don't correct the decision, you might as well shut the door and throw away the key for any zoning, regulation and land use," Noland argued.

Justice Richard Bernstein noted he was trying to get to the "real-life implications" of the decision.

"If we don't act, someone can move next door to me, start a grow operation. There's really nothing we can do?" Bernstein asked Dodge.

Dodge said the Medical Marijuana Act leaves it up to the caregiver to decide where they can cultivate marijuana.

"The municipality cannot set up an ordinance that steps on the toes of the caregiver in that situation." Dodge said.

The Supreme Court could make a ruling as early as this year.

Dodge said he worries about the implications if the Supreme Court overturns the Court of Appeals decision.

"It's going to leave open a whole spectrum for decisions for these townships to make. It's going to really undercut the caregivers and what we feel the Medical Marijuana Act allows them do and that's to find the place and best place to grow marijuana," said Dodge.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
For full story, follow link in title for news video.

Controversy continues over medical marijuana dispensaries licensing process in Warren
Long legal battle is over

WARREN, Mich. - A long legal battle in Warren over medical marijuana appears to be over after a judge awarded 15 dispensaries licenses to operate in the city.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding how those 15 dispensaries were chosen. Three of seven Warren City Council members were on a committee that reviewed and ranked applicants, that all took place behind closed doors.

"You had members make the score and vote on it with the majority to have the final decision," Travis Copenhaver with the Cannabis Legal Group said.

The process was so contentious a Macomb County judge had to place a temporary injunction. It was lifted Tuesday, paving the way for a final vote.

The top 15 businesses got the green light Tuesday, shutting out dozens of others.

"We knew it would be a competitive merit-based process, what we didn't know was the process wouldn't be fair. Almost predetermined," Mike Bahoura, who was denied a marijuana license, said.
 

BD9

Leaf Dawg
A great day for South West Michigan. Niles Michigan city council votes to approve recreational cannabis shops! :aaaaa:




NILES — Someday soon — maybe not much more than a year after cannabis was legalized in Michigan — getting marijuana in town could be kind of like getting a beer.



After voting 11 months ago not to allow recreational marijuana businesses, City Council Monday night reversed course by a vote of 6 to 1.
Residents and medical marijuana business owners in attendance at the special meeting gave the council cheers and a big round of applause.
The move now to allow recreational businesses means there will be shops in town where adults from Michigan, Indiana or elsewhere who have the ID to show they’re age 21 or older can purchase state-approved, lab-tested marijuana products, and there will also be sites where they can legally consume pot.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Follow title link for news clip.

Grand Rapids city commission unanimously approves marijuana ordinance

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The City of Grand Rapids effectively opted in to recreational marijuana facilities opening up in the city, but there's a long way to go.

The city commission unanimously voted to adopt an ordinance that says businesses need a license to sell marijuana in the city, whether it be recreational or medical.

There is no recreational license on the books. At least, not yet. The city planners are still working on that. The point of Tuesday night's vote was to opt-in to recreational marijuana at some point when that license is ready.

The license would regulate land usage. Such as how, where or when marijuana businesses can be open.

The city needed to do this soon, because on Nov. 1 the state starts accepting recreational licenses. If the city didn't have an ordinance in effect, it would be opted in with no official regulatory control.

“This ordinance essentially gave us about six months to develop a land use ordinance for recreational marijuana uses,” said senior planner Landon Bartley.

Basically, Grand Rapids is still writing the rules for recreational licensing in the city but delaying the process until they have a more definitive plan in place.

“The city commission wants to approach this carefully, we have other communities watching us from around the state," Bartley said. "I think they generally want to respect other voters requests."
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Again; follow title link for news clip.

People line up for marijuana licenses a week early

MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A handful of people began lining up outside of Muskegon Township Hall to submit recreational marijuana license applications Wednesday afternoon. It will be more than a week before the applications are accepted by officials.

Muskegon Township Supervisor Jennifer Hodges told News 8 she was surprised to see a line so early.

Township trustees have approved an ordinance that will allow recreational marijuana businesses to open shop, but licenses are limited. Hodges said only seven licenses are available and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis for applicants meeting all the requirements.

>>PDFs: Licensing ordinance | Zoning ordinance | Zoning districts

The people in line aren’t necessarily the ones who will be opening up shop.

“I’m just a sitter,” Bill Gillikin said.

As of Wednesday, everyone in line was a sitter: They were getting paid by a business to hold their spot in line.

Gillikin sat in line for most of the day on Wednesday.

“I’m just doing some paperwork and getting caught up on some things,” he said.

Other sitters rotate shifts, coming and going on a set schedule.

Gillikin said he’s never seen anything like it in West Michigan and is excited for what’s ahead.

“It’s going to be interesting when this finally materializes and people actually start selling it,” he said. “I think it’ll be good for the community.”

Grand Rapids and the city of Muskegon have also laid out recreational marijuana licensing rules, but it will still be months before you can actually buy legal pot.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
City accepting marijuana license applications Friday

MANISTEE — A group of people lined up outside of Manistee City Hall this week in an effort to submit recreational marijuana license applications Friday morning.

The applications are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for those who meet all of the requirements.

The City of Manistee Planning Commission approved 10 special use permits on Sept. 19 for potential marijuana businesses located in the Marijuana Sales Overlay district on Arthur Street. An additional applicant was approved for a special use permit on Oct. 3.

Kyle Storey, City of Manistee zoning administrator, said they are still considering one more applicant for a special use permit. Those who were granted a special use permit were able to pick up their marijuana licensing applications from the city starting Monday.


"One more application is going through the granting or denying stage (with the Planning Commission)," said Storey. "The (special use permits) were finalized on Monday and Tuesday."

The applicants, as well as those who are camping out in their place, have been waiting in line outside of city hall since Monday morning. Heather Pefley, city clerk, said they will begin accepting applications starting at 8 a.m. Friday.

"As soon as they got their special use permit signed and notarized, they came in here and picked up their applications so they could start working on them," Pefley said.
Since it's on a first-come, first-served basis, Pefley said they directed all of the applicants to line up at the back entrance of the building located on Water Street.

"They just decided to get in line and stay, but they wanted to be first in line," she said. "On Friday, we start accepting the applications for recreational and medical marijuana licensing. Medical was approved to have unlimited licenses, but for recreational marijuana we only have five recreational retail licenses and five licenses for recreational micro-businesses available."

Pefley said seven out of the 11 applicants are waiting in line to submit a recreational marijuana application. Pefley said those who are only pursing a medical marijuana license did not have to wait in line, but they are still able to turn in applications on Friday.

The majority of the applicants, however, are interested in vying for a recreational marijuana license.

"If someone is just looking to get a medical provisioning center license, we have those unlimited then there is no reason to wait in line," she said. "The majority that are getting a medical license also want recreational. It's that recreational retail that's the draw right now, it's what everyone is vying for."

Friday morning, Pefley said they are taking numbers and in order the applications will be submitted. If an application is denied or incomplete, the next applicant "in line" could be granted a license.

However, the city has a period of 21 days to review the applications to determine whether they are satisfied or not.

In addition, the applicants will have to pay a $5,000 fee. Before opening up in Manistee, they will also need to go through the state's licensing process.

"What I am going to do with the first person in line, they will be the first application we receipt — we will date and time it," Pefley said. "We will do that for every application that we receive. If everything is good with the first five then those would be the five, but there's always a chance that there's something that's not complete or they could get denied — it would then go to the next person in line.

"Hopefully, we will keep some kind of system going, we will check in on applications, they will pay the application fee and then we will go from there."

An ordinance amendment to increase the number of recreational marijuana licenses from three to five each was adopted on Oct. 1. The ordinance amendment had 10 days until it became effective.

"The reason we chose Oct. 11 is because that's the effective date — it used to be three licenses and we changed it to five," Pefley said. "That's why we made (Friday) the date they could come in and file those applications."
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
And once again, Government politicians....the gift that keeps on giving.


Fouts to veto medical pot licenses approved by Warren City Council

Warren Mayor James Fouts has sent a notice saying he is vetoing City Council's approval of 15 medical marijuana dispensary licenses.

Fouts sent a notice to the city clerk Wednesday, a day after the council voted 5-2 to approve the top 15 license applications. There were 65 applicants.

Warren mayor Jim Fouts delivers the annual State of the City address at Andiamo in Warren, Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

Warren mayor Jim Fouts delivers the annual State of the City address at Andiamo in Warren, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press)

The City Council can override Fouts' veto, possibly at its Oct. 22 meeting.

A medical marijuana subcommittee composed of city officials reviewed the applicants, but City Council had the final vote in approving the licenses.

"While I respect the diligence of the committee members and the time to interview and review the numerous applicants, this process has resulted in numerous lawsuits against the City," Fouts wrote in his notice.

"This directly affects the administration of the City. I hope Council shares my goal of dedicating valuable City resources to economic growth and resident services, not to depositions, exorbitant attorney fees and court costs," he continued.


"My greatest fear is where all of the litigation may lead — marijuana licenses exceeding well beyond our quota," Fouts wrote.

The mayor said on Facebook in mid-September that he supports the right to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, but he worries about grow operations springing up near Warren neighborhoods.

"I voted for and believe in medical marijuana," Fouts said. "But the way the marijuana laws have been implemented is, I believe, not in the best interest of the city of Warren or the state."


More: Ferndale becomes second city in Oakland County to say 'yes' to medical pot business

The city had passed an ordinance that would have allowed for up to 15 dispensaries.

Before they were awarded, lawyers for several dispensaries that were hoping to locate in the city sued the city because the subcommittee was meeting behind closed doors.

A Macomb County judge issued a temporary restraining order, and no licenses could be approved.

On Tuesday, the judge lifted the temporary restraining order and injunction, allowing the vote to go forward, according to court records.

The City Council was allowed to make its own determination of the merits of the applicants using the work of the review committee, but only as a recommendation, the court records state.
 

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