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Ferndale Expected To Limit Number Of Medical Marijuana Businesses In City

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Ferdnale City Council members this week approved a medical marijuana business with a growing operation by registered caregivers for this vacant building at 930 E. Lewiston. Ferndale’s police chief wants to limit the number of such businesses in the city. Mike McConnell - Daily Tribune 

By Mike McConnell, mike.mcconnell@dailytribune.com@mmcconnell01 on Twitter


05/27/15, 2:38 PM EDT  |  UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO6 COMMENTS


Ferndale officials are set to consider limiting the number of medical marijuana facilities in the city over concerns put forth by police.



“I think we’ve got to the tipping point,” Police Chief Timothy Collins said. “The more of these types of facilities the city approves the more it takes officers away from doing regular duties to take care of a duty that didn’t exist before.”



Collins is concerned the amount of manpower it takes to oversee such business may impact traditional police duties if more medical marijuana businesses are approved in the future.



Ferndale council members approved the city’s third medical marijuana facility this week at a now-vacant industrial building at 930 E. Lewiston.




It was the third approval for such a business in less than a year. But the new business, C-Gardens, would be the first to have registered medical marijuana caregivers growing pot on site.



Though three medical marijuana businesses have gotten the OK from Ferndale since July 2014, none of them have opened yet.



Some believe medical marijuana businesses are waiting for changes in Michigan law that would allow for dispensaries, or a successful statewide ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Michigan.



“I think that is what’s happening,” said Councilman Mike Lennon, a former Ferndale police officer. “The business owners are thinking they will get in here, get approved, then wait and see what happens with the law.”



At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, City Manager April Lynch told council members Collins is concerned police resources would be strained if more than the current three medical marijuana businesses are approved.



Mayor Dave Coulter wants Collins and other city officials to meet soon on the issue, as planned, and firm up what is involved for police in monitoring and administering legal oversight of medical marijuana facilities.



Coulter suggested comparing those police oversight duties with what police traditionally have to do in overseeing party stores and liquor licenses.



Officials expect to take the issue up again at the next City Council’s meeting June 8. 



Collins is in favor of limiting marijuana businesses because of the limits of his department’s manpower, he said.



“Either we give up something (police) do now or we put more manpower on to administrate medical marijuana facilities,” he said.




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