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Huntington Woods To Allow Regulated Grows?

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by Catherine Kavanaugh, (Source:Oakland Press)

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09 May 2011

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The city that allows qualifying medical marijuana patients to grow the state-allotted 12 plants at their home has figured out what to do about registered caregivers who can assist up to five patients.


Huntington Woods officials didn't want any caregivers growing 60 plants - 72 if they are a patient - in residential areas, but they will consider issuing special land use permits for medical marijuana growing operations in their "zone 3" business districts on 11 Mile and Coolidge roads.


Before a permit is issued, the caregiver must meet standards for parking, lighting and signs, and show he or she won't create noise, vibrations, pollution, criminal activity or cause public safety problems.


"We're taking a new approach," City Planner Bonnie Cook said. "We said let's not pass a medical marijuana ordinance. Let's make sure all land uses have the proper rules. Our ordinance doesn't single out medical marijuana. It beefs up the requirements we have for all businesses."


The City Council approved the tighter standards on May 3. They go into effect May 23. Cook said no applicants are waiting in the wings to open a growing operation.


A special land use permit would only be issued to one caregiver, who can grow up to 12 plants for five patients plus 12 plants for himself if he is a patient. No partnerships or consortiums will be allowed.


"The state law assumes there will be a close, personal relationship between the caregiver and patient," Cook said. "The state law says nothing about dispensaries or compassion clubs. It just talks about primary caregivers, and since they are allowed to collect money for their service, we plunked them in our business districts."


Huntington Woods didn't allow caregiving as a home occupation because no other medical fields are.


"For the most part, we just enhanced the rules we have," Cook said. "Some people think it could be a model ordinance. Time will tell. We did the best we could."


City Commissioner Jules Olsman said his goals with addressing caregivers were to avoid litigation and encourage proper conduct.


"I think it's a fabulous way to handle something the public says it wants by ballot proposal," he said. "It doesn't treat medical marijuana like the hunchback of Notre Dame and it blends it in as a legitimate business activity."


In 2008, 79 percent of Huntington Woods voters approved the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act compared to 63 percent in Michigan.



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Share This Article delicious.gif digg.gif stumble.gif facebook.gif twitter.gif Pubdate: Mon, 9 May 2011

Source: Oakland Press, The (MI)

Copyright: 2011 The Oakland Press

Contact: allan.adler@oakpress.com

Website: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2114

Author: Catherine Kavanaugh

Cited: Huntington Woods http://www.ci.huntington-woods.mi.us/

Referenced: Michigan Medical Marijuana Act http://drugsense.org/url/8mvr7sW8

Bookmark: http://www.drugsense.org/cms/geoview/n-us-mi (Michigan)

Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/topic/Huntington+Woods





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