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Medical Marijuana Shops Come To Southwest Michigan


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NILES, Mich. (AP) — Southwest Michigan will soon see a growing number of state-regulated medical marijuana businesses.

The Niles City Council voted on Monday in favor of a resolution stating the intention to adopt three medical marijuana laws passed by state legislators last year. The city of Buchanan voted in favor of a similar proposal.

The types, quantity and location of businesses will be discussed at the city plan commission meeting April 11.

Supporters of the marijuana dispensaries hope the legalization will mean a local economy boost, more jobs and easier access for people with health problems.



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On Monday night, both Niles and Buchanan decided to bring medical marijuana dispensaries to the cities. 


Just because everything passed, doesn't mean the dispensaries will be popping up sometime in the next week. But proponents are already ready for the new stores.

"I think we should get one in here, like, yesterday!" medical marijuana cardholder Robert Blassingane said. "Because, I've got a medical marijuana card. It helps me with my nausea. I'd probably take 40 different kinds of medicines."

"Yesterday" might not be a good ETA, because it's still going to take some time before the shops are implemented.

"We have to decide how many facilities we're going to have," Niles Mayor Nick Shelton said. "What types of facilities we're going to have, and the number of facilities we're going to have. So it's going to take work from the ordinance committee, from the planning commission, lots of work going forward before the end of the year."

The applications won't be available until December 15th, so with turnaround time licenses probably won't be approved until 2018.


"As soon as the licenses are available in December of 2017, I would expect them to be ready to go with their license application," Niles City Manager Rick Huff said. 

We reached out to LARA, who is handling these licenses to see just how long the process would take for a business to get up and running once that December date hits.

They don't have a time frame on how long it takes to become a licensed business. but it will pass through a board of 5 members and have an annual fee of up to $5,000. 

But there are still plenty of questions remaining.

"Right now, we're really kind of held up waiting for Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to actually establish the procedure and the policies that are going to be going on for the licensing," Huff said.

If you'd like to read more on what restrictions there are on licenses and what is in place so far, you can do so at http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-78089---,00.html



Edited by bobandtorey
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