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Newsmakers: Tc May Modify Marijuana Law

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Public Hearing Set Over Changes for Collectives


TRAVERSE CITY - Editor's note: Another in a series of people, places and events that made headlines in northern Michigan in 2010.


Adrienne Rossi remains uneasy about rules that paved the way for medical marijuana cultivation and distribution within the city.


Rossi, a Central Neighborhood resident, vocally opposed a medical marijuana ordinance that city commissioners approved in August. The ordinance allows for cultivation of up to 72 plants in residential neighborhoods, among other things, and that doesn't sit well with Rossi.


"My feeling is that it was a huge mistake to allow these grow houses in single-family neighborhoods," she said.


City officials contend they've received no complaints since the ordinance took effect, though they're in the process of tightening medical marijuana regulations. Certain residents already are allowed to grow and distribute marijuana under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, approved by voters in 2008.


The act allows patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 12 plants, and permits state-certified caregivers to grow and distribute plants to up to five patients. But it doesn't specify how and where patients and caregivers can grow or distribute marijuana, so municipalities were left to decide for themselves.


The city's ordinance also allows medical marijuana collectives in most business districts, and three popped up since the ordinance took effect. Marijuana can change hands at such operations, but can't be grown there.


City officials on Jan. 5 will hold a public hearing about a few key ordinance amendments. Among other proposed changes, they want to specify that collectives must be at least 1,000 feet apart, and prohibit patients from selling marijuana to one another at the collectives, City Planner Russ Soyring said. State law allows caregivers to charge patients, and that won't change.


Officials could continue to tweak the ordinance, and plan to keep an eye on what impact it has on the city and its residents.


"We're kind of being leaders in the area ... and we're going to monitor the situation, along with the police department, to make sure these things are done properly," Soyring said.


Rossi said she hasn't heard of any specific problems in residential areas yet, but she's concerned issues could arise.


Angela Janovich is co-owner of Collective Inc., a prominent collective on State Street. Reaction has been positive since the business opened, she said, and she welcomes anyone who's uneasy or unsure about her operation to stop by.


"We have a lot of curious people out there, and we're trying to answer everyone's questions," she said.



abukowski@record-eagle.com The Record Eagle


Please visit the source for the complete storry , to comment and local Traverse City news ;



Edited by Croppled1
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