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Williamston, Mi., Residents Can Have A Say On Mmj, February 1.

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by Ken Palmer, (Source:Williamston Enterprise)

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24 Jan 2011

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Public Hearing Set for Feb. 1


WILLIAMSTON - Residents can weigh in on proposed rules regulating medical marijuana businesses on Feb. 1.


The Planning Commission has set a public hearing for that date on a draft zoning amendment that would allow dispensaries to be located in three industrially zoned areas of the city.


Those businesses would have to be at least 1,000 feet from a public or private school and no closer than 500 feet to a church, licensed child care facility, residential district or public library, park or playground.


Qualified patients would be able to grow marijuana for their own use anywhere in the city, as long it is in a secured building.


Long Time in the Making


The draft ordinance has been in the works for months.


On Jan. 10, the City Council reviewed recommendations from the Planning Commission and took the first step toward extending a six-month moratorium on medical marijuana businesses.


That would give the city enough time to adopt the new zoning rules.


The moratorium is set to expire Feb. 23 but would be extended by 90 days if the council approves a second reading.


The planning board endorsed a draft amendment on Jan. 4 that would have allowed medical marijuana dispensaries to be located within either the I-1 or I-2 zoning districts.


But council members who attended the Jan. 10 meeting said those businesses should be restricted to the I-2 district only.


Three areas of the city are zoned I-2 - the northern part of the Industrial Park, the southern edge of the city along I-96 and the northwest part of the city along West Grand River Avenue. The version endorsed by the Planning Commission called for dispensaries to be located at least 500 feet away from each other.


But the council wanted to increase that distance to 1,000 feet.


"The idea is to provide a reasonable amount of diversity to the I-2 zone," City Manager Tim Allard said.


"Extending the distance from one dispensary to another would accomplish that." The current version of the draft says only one primary caregiver could grow marijuana and serve patients from a single location.


The council's changes have been incorporated into the draft ordinance available for public review at City Hall, Allard said.


The proposed amendment says dispensaries can be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and that patients may not consume marijuana at a dispensary.


Caregiver operations will need federal and state health safety certifications, along with the usual local business permits.


Caregivers also would have to submit a security plan and a floor plan specifying the number of plants. The security plan would be kept confidential by the city.


Barring any major problems or delays, the council could be ready to approve a first reading of the new ordinance by its Feb. 28 meeting, with final approval on March 14.


Under that timeline, the ordinance would take effect on April 1.



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Share This Article delicious.gif digg.gif stumble.gif facebook.gif twitter.gif Pubdate: Mon, 24 Jan 2011

Source: Williamston Enterprise (MI)

Contact: cbleck@gannett.com

Copyright: 2011 Williamston Enterprise



Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/5233

Author: Ken Palmer

Cited: City Council http://www.williamston-mi.us/citycouncil.html

Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/find?275 (Cannabis - Michigan)





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