Council ponders marijuana move

CRYSTAL FALLS—At its monthly meeting held Feb. 11, the Crystal Falls City Council revisited the discussion related to the legalization of marijuana in Michigan, with the dialogue centered on whether or not to allow a dispensary in the city of Crystal Falls.
    The council had essentially three options at its disposal. First, it could vote to opt out of allowing a dispensary in the city. Second, it could propose a vote to allow a dispensary in the city, after which a public hearing would follow. Third, it could opt out now but revisit the matter once the state actually finalizes all the rules and regulations related to legal marijuana retail dispensaries.
    After much discussion, the council decided on the third option, agreeing unanimously to opt out of allowing a dispensary until the state can provide more detailed and finalized guidance on the issue. A significant factor in this decision related to the fact that if the city has no policy in place, and for some reason someone wanted to buy a building and start selling marijuana from it, the city’s hands could be tied.
    “You can’t go back on it,” said City Manager Patrick Reagan. “You can’t go back and say it’s not allowed, so your decision has been made for you.”
    Reagan also noted that without a policy in place, it could limit the city’s ability to make zoning decisions, such as limitations on specifically where dispensaries would and would not be allowed to be located.
    A second factor for the decision was keeping an open mind on the matter until the state provides more definite legislation, especially considering that the proposal to legalize recreational marijuana passed by a vote of 370 to 308 in the city.
    “If it comes down to it, if Crystal Falls has that door open, and we can get a positive business out of it that is regulated through the state, that’s revenue to us,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Michael McCarthy.
    The council will revisit the current opt-out status every month going forward in order to consider any changes that occur with the status of the state’s regulations on the matter.

  To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.