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Monday, September 26, 2022

Midland City Council is discussing allowing marijuana businesses in the city

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The Midland City Council may consider allowing marijuana to be sold in the City of Midland.

On Saturday, during its annual planning retreat, the council discussed exploring the possibility of allowing medical and/or recreational marijuana companies to operate in the city of Midland. While some council members were willing to explore these options, others weren’t.

Councilman Pam Hall raised the topic of exploring these works at a previous council meeting, and the council asked city attorney Jim Branson to research the topic again. He presented his findings at a meeting on Saturday.

Council members in February 2019 banned commercial marijuana establishments, such as dispensaries, warehouses, testing facilities, operations development and transportation facilities, from operating in the city. Branson said the board acted appropriately at the time because there weren’t any applicants or licenses available at the time, so it was best to wait and see what happens.

If the council chooses to explore allowing marijuana businesses in the city, Branson said they will have to consider where the businesses can be located, the number of businesses allowed, implementation and application fees. Branson said zoning issues would first be referred to the planning committee.

Branson said some of the things the city might miss in the absence of marijuana businesses are tax revenue and new job creation. However, the introduction of these companies means an additional police application, he said.

Branson said the city of Saginaw has its own marijuana law “on the spot,” considering it a success based on conversations he had with city officials there. For example, the Saginaw Ordinance defines how far marijuana businesses diverge from each other and from schools.

Hall said the board should explore allowing businesses to be allowed into Midland in a respectful and professional manner. She has raised medical marijuana users and said they should have options for this type of medical care in the city.

“We say we listen to people’s voices,[but]I don’t think if we wouldn’t allow access for those in our community to have access to medical or recreational marijuana in a carefully selected location,” Hall said.

However, Mayor Maureen Duncker said this is not a priority for the city, and just because the city is able to do so, doesn’t mean it is.

“We have a lot of things to deal with right now,” Dunker said. I don’t think this is a priority. If there is no access in the area, I would say maybe, but I think our place is now on the right track.”

Council member Steve Arnosky said it’s okay to delay allowing retail marijuana dealers in the city, but added that the council should consider the idea of ​​allowing Midland-based businesses to operate non-retail marijuana operations, such as transportation and testing.

Midland Police Chief Nicole Ford said she’s changed her mind over the years about legal marijuana, and has noted how states like Colorado haven’t seen a rise in dispensary crime as she expected.

Branson said the board’s selection is what to do next with the information he provided. The council can either leave the law as is, or go ahead with the process. The council asked him to consider allowing testing labs and submitting ordinances from other municipalities (but not for retail).

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