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Marshall City Council approves zoning for medical marijuana facilities


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MARSHALL — Once the state capital, the city of Marshall is on its way to becoming the marijuana grow capital of Michigan.

With no controversy, the Marshall City Council approved the necessary zoning ordinances to allow for three of the five state authorized services in the city. So far one firm has received city zoning, site plan, and security approval.

“We think in Marshall we will end up with five or six medical marijuana facilities,” City Manager Tom Tarkiewicz said after 25 to 30 enterprises expressed interest in locating in the city of just over 7,000 at the intersection of I-69 and I-94.

Tarkiewicz said the draw for the facilities was the proximity to 80 percent of Michigan’s population.

He noted there are currently 218,000 medical marijuana permits issued in the state.

This has come as state licensing board yet tries to establish rules by December 15 to begin taking applications for licenses for growers, processors, secured transporters, dispensaries, and testing centers, all of which must be separate businesses.

“We do not allow provisioning sales – dispensaries – in our ordinance,” he said. “We allow only growing, precessing, and transporters.”

There was no opposition when it passed the council in June and only one person last month opposed the reduction of the limitation of distance between facilities from one mile to half a mile.

Tarkiewicz said the owner of a building which has been on the market for 10 years is happy because he sold it for the full asking price after it sat vacant for 10 years south of the city. All the permits will be in industrial areas.


Because the buildings will be enclosed green houses, the facilities are expected to be a boom for the Marshall city utilities. Like Coldwater with its greenhouses it will mean increased power sales during the winter.

“We are trying to get a handle on it,” Tarkiewicz said.

Each community can require an annual fee of up to $5,000 per license. There will be a three percent sales tax on retail divided between local municipalities – 25 percent, counties –30 percent, sheriff’s – 5 percent and the state’s general fund – 30 percent. Michigan State Police and the licensing bureau would each get 5 percent.

Rules are not yet in place that will show how other counties with licenses other than dispensaries will benefit an expected $42 million in sales tax.

While Marshall has embraced parts of the licensing law many others have not. Proposals to create marijuana licensing ordinances in Hillsdale County, Coldwater and Quincy Townships have met with opposition and rejection.


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