Chamber Blog

Grand Rapids City Commission Set to Vote on Medical Marijuana

Local Advocacy: City of Grand Rapids approves budget - Considering medical marijuana.

Last week the Grand Rapids City Commission wrapped up several community meetings and a public hearing on an ordinance to allow the growing, manufacturing, transporting, testing and sale of medical marijuana in Grand Rapids.

Michigan’s Medical Marijuana law requires cities to opt-in or make an affirmative decision to allow any of the five uses listed above.

A local ballot petition to bring medicinal marijuana facilities to Grand Rapids was a significant factor in the City Commission taking the issue up prior to the November election where the question of legalization will be decided by Michigan voters.

The Chamber supports the Commission taking action on an ordinance. It allows the Commission greater oversight and the ability to changes during or after implementation as necessary.

If a ballot initiative was passed, it would mean that any future amendments would require a vote of the public. It’s also critical to note the state-level legalization proposal prohibits municipalities from adopting any rule that would restrict recreational marijuana operations at medical marijuana facilities.

With these considerations in mind, we are encouraging the commission to start with a more restrictive policy that will allow time to address any challenges that may arise.

The City staff proposal, advanced by the City Commission, results in a potential of 41 possible locations in Grand Rapids when the buffer requirements between land uses (schools, parks, etc.) are considered.

The Mayors and Supervisors of surrounding communities have written a joint letter to the City Commission asking them to respect their boundaries. It is highly unlikely that other Kent County communities will be looking to implement similar ordinances in the near future.

If you have any questions, thoughts or concerns, please contact Joshua Lunger, Director of Government Affairs at 616.771.0336 or lungerj@grandrapids.org


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