A proposed medical marijuana ordinance in Douglas, Michigan, acts as a jumping off point for planning commission members, despite its evident flaws.
On Wednesday night, planners approved a public hearing for April 11th on the new rules, despite hesitations. Commissioner David Burdick explained, “I just want something passed to get caregivers in operation so people see it’s not a horrible thing.
Douglas, MI voters had the highest medical marijuana approval rating in Allegan County, 79%, when marijuana for medical use was approved in the state in 2008.
The city first discussed opening a medical marijuana facility in July 2010, but zoning board officials passed the zoning developments on to a planning commission, and the planning commission has yet to come up with a proper solution.
In November, 2011, Douglas City Council put a 4 month moratorium on medical marijuana collectives. The proposed ordinance would allow marijuana caregiver operations in commercial and light industrial districts.
Under the ordinance, collectives and growing sites would be banned from being within 50 feet of a residential zoning district, 1,000 feet of a school or daycare, 500 feet of a church, library, “historic area,” or public park.
Other stipulations of the ordinance include a yearly license for each caregiver.
Some Commissioners have addressed the fact that the ordinance is overly restrictive, while others view it as being sufficient as a starting point that they can later build from.
The city attorneys and chief of police have assisted in the drafting of the proposed ordinance, which, if passed, will be reviewed in 2 years. Changes could be made at that point in time.
The planning commission will vote on the proposal on April 11th after a public hearing. If it is passed, the City Council will then make the final decision.