City working on Medical Marijuana Ordinance

MANISTEE — The City of Manistee is currently drafting a Medical Marijuana Ordinance, which would allow state licensed medical marijuana grow facilities and processors to operate within parameters of the city.

However, an ordinance is not being drafted for a dispensary at this time.

The Brass LCC medical marijuana grow facility and processor in Detroit are required to follow strict regulations in order to continue operation. (Courtesy Photo/Jim Smith)

The Brass LCC medical marijuana grow facility and processor in Detroit are required to follow strict regulations in order to continue operation. (Courtesy Photo/Jim Smith)

City council held a discussion on the ordinance at a city council work session on Tuesday night. A general consensus was made for medical marijuana facility permits to be submitted to the city clerk, for approval.

If a permit is denied, an appeal process could be made to first the city manager, and then to city council.

“The Medical Marijuana Facilities Act requires an order for a license under that act, whether it’s a grow operation, provisioning center or any of the other type of license holders,” said George Saylor, city attorney. “To be permitted within a municipality, it has to adopt an ordinance to allow an opt-in.

“We drafted it, and worked quite hard in drafting an ordinance that was provided to council.”

Medical marijuana facilities with a city approved permit must meet strict requirements and ordinance regulations from both the city and the state.

“Because it’s so new, all we can do is draft something as best we can under the laws as we know it, if city council is inclined to authorize this,” said Saylor.

The city is currently working with interested developers, calling for two potential locations to operate medical marijuana grow/processor facilities.

If the ordinance is approved, plans could take shape for a medical marijuana class A grow facility at the Iron Works property at 254 River St. — if the respective permits are approved by city council.

Plans call for a mixed-use building to house a hotel, cottages, amphitheater, townhouses, indoor market, retail outlets and the “linchpin,” the medical marijuana grow facility.

Representatives from Brass LLC presented the idea on Oct. 13, at a city council meeting, along with Ken Armour, developer, and Jim Brodi, lead constructionist of Create Three Architecture.

Mike Cavanaugh and Joe Brennan, with Brass LLC, both are experienced in the medical marijuana field, as they manage a grow facility, processor and dispensary in Detroit.

Armour said the Iron Works redevelopment project will not be feasible without the medical marijuana grow facility. A dispensary and processor is not outlined in the plans, but could be a future possibility with council approval.

“If we can make the numbers work with the amount of licences, then (the grow facility) is going to carry the entire project. The project timeline is really feasible,” Armour said, on Oct. 13. “As far as the facility, the city has all of the cards in its hand as far as security, or if anything goes wrong it’s one phone call to the state.”

Denise Blakeslee, Planning and Zoning department administrator, is currently drafting a Medical Marijuana zoning ordinance. A special use permit would be required for developers, if the facility is located within certain sections of the city.

The special use permit would also regulate operations of the facility within the area.

“The idea is that there would be some regulations on how the facility should be operated,” said Saylor. “One of those issues is odor, we would have some sort of restriction or ability under that permit to control that odor that would be offensive to surrounding neighbors.

“I don’t think that should be an issue, because our ordinance requires it be a closed and locked facility.”

Council members expressed some concerns during the work session on Tuesday, regarding building security and other potential risks. Other council members were more open to the redevelopment plans.

Mayor Jim Smith and mayor pro-tem Roger Zielinski recently visited the Brass LCC medical marijuana grow facility, processor and dispensary in Detroit, to gain insight on the facility operations.

“It was quite the experience,” Smith said. “We looked at how they operated and what the rules were. I was really quite surprised at the detail in the operation.”

Weighing the benefits of the Iron Works redevelopment  project, Smith said the medical marijuana grow facility could bring jobs and financial growth to the community.

“You have to consider the job opportunities and economic growth within the community,” said Smith. “I look at this as a situation where my personal opinions is not the most important factor, rather what you need to consider is what this can bring to the community.”

City council will vote on the Medical Marijuana Ordinance at a future city council meeting; a date has not been selected.

avatar

Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

Leave a Reply