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Apartments, Marijuana Dispensaries, And More From Hancock


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Apartments, Marijuana Dispensaries, and more from Hancock


Thu 11/17/11 9:04AM


The historic 116 Quincy Street Building in Hancock may get another chance at being saved. The building has sat empty since a tragic fire did considerable damage to the interior and claimed the lives of four people in 2009. The city considered demolishing the building last year but now that fate appears to have been avoided.


Real Estate Developer Mike Lahti bought the property earlier this month and has proposed a plan to begin renovations immediately, starting with the roof. The Council voted to move ahead on an application to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority for a grant of $320,000.

The money would help transform the site into an apartment building that would have eight units available to rent.


The City of Hancock is proposing an ordinance to regulate controlled substance dispensaries within its city limits. The City Council discussed the proposal at its' monthly meeting.


The ordinance would prohibit anyone who is not a state recognized Practitioner from dispensing, selling, or distributing controlled substances to another person within one thousand feet of school property or within 500 feet of church property.


Violators could face up to a hundred dollar fine or be jailed for up to 90 days for each violation. A public hearing on the matter was scheduled for December 21st at 7pm.


Hancock City Mayor William Laitila and Mayor Pro-Tem James Hainault will serve their city for at least one more year. At the city council meeting last night, nominations were taken for both positions. Only Laitila and Hainault were nominated and their election by the council was unanimous.


Mayor Laitila expressed his appreciation for another year to the council and thanked Mayor Pro-Tem Hainault for his hard work as well.

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The ordinance would prohibit anyone who is not a state recognized Practitioner from dispensing, selling, or distributing controlled substances to another person within one thousand feet of school property or within 500 feet of church property.


What a weird ordinance.

Does this mean that if a person is a recognized practitioner by the state, they can distribute closer than 500 from a church & 1000 ft. from a school?

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HANCOCK - Despite the uncertain future of Michigan's medical marijuana law, the Hancock City Council Wednesday took the first step toward controlling the dispensing of controlled substances in the city.


Council conducted the first reading of the proposed ordinance to control the dispensing of controlled substances and set 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 for a public hearing on the proposed ordinance.


In 2008, Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, which allows licensed medical practitioners to prescribe marijuana for medical treatment, and to allow people approved by the state to use it.


The proposed Hancock ordinance would prohibit dispensing of any controlled substance, except by a "practitioner" as defined by Michigan law, "to another person on or within 1,000 feet of a school or 500 feet of church property."


Violation of the proposed ordinance could result in a fine of not more than $100 and/or 90 days in jail.


Council member John Haeussler, who was a member of the sub-committee which wrote the proposed ordinance, said because of the number of schools and churches, the ordinance would in effect pertain to most of the city.


However, Haeussler said the ordinance would not prohibit doctors from prescribing medical marijuana as defined by state law, or the use of marijuana by those legally allowed to use it.


"It's allowing things that's allowed under state law," he said. "The ordinance isn't directed at medical marijuana. It's directed at controlled substances, which puts the onus back on the state."


Haeussler said as written, the proposed ordinance should prevent any future civil action against the city.


"People who don't want to see medical marijuana won't see it," he said. "Those legally allowed to use it can still use it in Hancock."


As written, Haeussler said the proposed ordinance does not enable anything, it only prohibits.


Council member James Hainault said he was concerned about the use of the word "church" in the proposed ordinance because there is no legal definition of church.


Haeussler said if the issue ever came to court, he expects a dictionary definition of the word would be used.


Council member Lisa McKenzie said the state medical marijuana law is poorly written and federal law still prohibits the use of marijuana.


"State law is going against federal law," she said. "Federal law supercedes state law."


McKenzie said the local ordinance should specifically state marijuana may not be dispensed anywhere in the city of Hancock.


Council members voted 6 to 1, with McKenzie voting no, to approve the first reading of the ordinance and setting the public hearing date.

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