detroitdjs Posted January 7, 2011 Report Share Posted January 7, 2011 http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/20110106/NEWS01/101060325/Pot-center-proves-worth-to-township While a legal battle brews about a medical marijuana compassion center in St. Clair County, a Sanilac County center has been embraced by its local municipality. Jim Amsdill, who opened the Blue Water Compassion Centers in Kimball and Worth townships last year with his wife, said he can't keep up with demand. “We'll never be able to keep up,” he said. The couple also opened a center in Richville in Tuscola County last month, and Amsdill said he plans to open a new center somewhere in the state every four months. The Kimball Township location has been peppered with protests from the local government since it opened in March, most recently for allegedly violating a zoning ordinance that was amended by the board to include medical marijuana compassion centers. “Kimball missed the boat,” Amsdill said. “I had big plans for Kimball ... plans to make it ‘pot central' for Michigan. ... Kimball is on my last nerve.” The municipality is looking to close down the location, he said, but he's not giving up the fight. Amsdill said he has given the recent ticket to a lawyer and plans to file a lawsuit against the township. It's a different story in Worth Township, however, Amsdill said. Much of the community — including the township's supervisor — is supportive of the center at 6672 Lakeshore Road in Lexington Heights. Bryon McClain, owner of Buck Wild Nation just down the road from the compassion center, said he has no concerns about it. “I didn't really give it much thought, really,” he said of when the center opened. “It's just right down the road from us. It's legal. I think they're within their rights.” McClain said he also liked the center's community involvement. The center has hosted a fundraiser for the children of slaying victim Jennifer Gonzalez, hosted food giveaways and is organizing an ice festival in February. “I think it's great. ... I think they're good people and they're doing a good job,” he said. Amsdill said they're working to bring the community together to support the center. He said similar events are held at their other locations, including the one in Kimball Township. Elizabeth Galbraith, owner of Bunny's Frozen Custard in Worth Township, said she has had family members go through cancer. She said that, because medical marijuana is said to be beneficial for cancer patients, she supports the center. “As far as I'm concerned, it's a harmless drug as far as using it for medical things,” Galbraith said. Philip Essenmacher, Worth Township supervisor, said some residents initially had concerns. “(But) they've been open since the summer ... and haven't had any citations or any issues whatsoever,” he said. Essenmacher said he has toured the facility and the Amsdills have addressed any concerns put on the table by the township or law-enforcement agencies. Amsdil said he staffs 24-hour-a-day security on the premises. Essenmacher said the center is an asset to the community, through its efforts in community events as well as bringing jobs to the area. Amsdill said he has more than 20 employees combined at the three centers. Despite the support from the Worth Township community, there is still a sector of the population that fears the center, Amsdill said. “The stigma is this is still a drug — and it's not,” he said. # Contact Liz Shepard at (810) 989-6273 or email@example.com. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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