Douglas Officials Waiting To See How State Deals With Recreational Marijuana Law
Douglas city officials said they will wait and see how the state will carry out the newly Michigan-voter approved law legalizing recreational marijuana before the city decides what local procedures to adopt related to recreational marijuana businesses.
Douglas City Council members merely discussed the issue; they took no action on the matter but heeded the advice of Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere to temporarily opt out (essentially functioning as a moratorium) with the intent to later opt in once the state provides more guidelines.
The city earlier this year chose to opt in for medical marijuana and is currently processing two applications for provisioning centers and will soon, according to city staff, be issuing those permits.
The city’s regulations limits the number of businesses to two provisioning centers and two secure transporter licenses; the city has received no applications for the latter.
Much of the way Douglas decided to regulate medical facilities was through zoning rules, restricting where businesses could be located (designating districts) and how far from schools or clinics they had to be, and so on.
Recreational business applicants will start their process at the state level then get local approval; it works in reverse for medical marijuana applications.
“We already have the experience with medical marijuana (establishing rules, regulations, processing applications), that is the advantage we have in moving forward,” said LeFevere.
Furthermore, according to local business partners Ethan Del Stone and David Setzke—whose medical provisioning center, to be located at 435 Blue Star Highway, is slated for approval by the city—medical marijuana will be allowed to “co-locate” with recreational operations under the new law.
It not only came as a surprise to the Douglas City Council during Monday night’s discussion, but also influenced some officials’ thoughts, that those municipalities which choose to opt out of allowing marijuana sales in their respective communities would relinquish the benefit of getting money from the 10% excise tax on all marijuana sales from the state.
Del Stone and Setzke said that information was related to them by their attorney.
Michigan became the 10th state to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana (California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have legalized).
The new law allows anyone over 21 to have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana to use for the their personal use.