Manistee opts in to recreational marijuana facilities

A marijuana plant in the coastal mountain range of San Luis Obispo, Calif. California legislators are considering a plan to encourage more banks to do business with its legal marijuana industry. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

MANISTEE — The City of Manistee has opted to allow recreational marijuana establishments.

Council members adopted Ordinance 19-14 Recreational Marijuana at 6-0 vote on Tuesday, following months of talk around recreational and medical marijuana laws. Council member Chip Goodspeed was not in attendance.

Previously, council approved an ordinance opting out of provisions of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act with a sunset date of July 1. However, the ordinance adopted on Tuesday will change that.

“While the ordinance that has been drafted is submitted prior to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs final regulations, Ordinance 19-14 addresses the anticipated requirements at the state level and also addresses matters that are of concern to the city,” said George Saylor, city attorney, in a memo.

The ordinance authorizes marijuana establishments within Manistee and creates operational standards for marijuana grower, safety compliance, secure transporter, microbusiness and retail facilities.

In the ordinance, the types and number of establishments authorized include 12 marijuana growers; 12 processors; three micro businesses; three retailers; two safety compliance establishments; and two secure transporters.

There is also a nonrefundable municipal license application fee at $5,000, which is paid by each establishment applying for a license.

Also on Tuesday, council members unanimously approved the introduction of Ordinance 19-17, amending section “Chapter 866” of the City of Manistee Codified Ordinances to permit medical marijuana provisioning centers within Manistee.

A small change was made to the proposed ordinance.

“It was pointed out this morning to me in our restrictions under medical marijuana, we still had a provision that said you can’t dispense marijuana from a facility and also that it was restricted so that you cannot have exterior signage,” said Saylor. “We were not considering provisioning centers at the time.”

The locations of provisioning centers will be addressed with a zoning ordinance amendment, and will be the same in number as marijuana retailers under the Recreational Marijuana Establishment Ordinance.

Another reading is required before the ordinance could be adopted.

BERARD

During the meeting on Tuesday, council members also unanimously approved hiring Caitlyn Berard as the Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) new full-time executive director.

“I ask respectfully that city council approve the hiring of Caitlyn Berard as the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority,” said Valerie Bergstrom, DDA treasurer.

Berard introduced herself to council and mentioned her educational background, recently graduating from Wayne State University with a master’s degree in urban planning and development. Previously, she attained a bachelor’s degree in business and organizations from Albion College in 2015.

Currently, Berard serves as the economic development coordinator at the Albion Economic Development Corporation, having served as a Redevelopment Ready Committees, Project Rising Tide representative in Albion.

“With my experience in an RRC Project Rising Tide town, my urban planning position and my interest in serving Manistee, it would be an honor to serve with the Downtown Development Authority,” Berard said. “It was a pleasure to meet most of you during this process, and I look forward to working with you soon.”

In a letter to DDA board members, Kami Pothukuchi, Ph.D. professor of Wayne State University, stated the following about Berard: “I believe that Caitlyn’s enthusiasm for, preparation in, and commitment to economic advancement of Michigan’s urban communities suggest her readiness to take on the advertised position.”

Berard plans to start her new position in mid-June.

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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

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