February 23, 2019

City of Standish opts out of recreational marijuana

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STANDISH — The city of Standish is in the process of opting out of recreational marijuana and will be looking to adopt an ordinance at its upcoming February meeting.

The ordinance would only prevent marijuana facilities from being established in the city, City Manager Jerry Nelson said, and will have no effect on any other aspect of the referendum regarding recreational marijuana voted in last November.

“Per what was passed in November, the amount that you can carry, the amount that you can grow and all those things — nothing changes,” Nelson said. “The only thing that we are doing is opting out of a retail location within the city limits.”

Nelson said he feels the main reason for opting out is due to the unclear state of recreational marijuana in Michigan at the moment and said he feels it is most prudent to stay out of it until aspects such as rules, licensing and regulation become more clear.

The number-two reason, Nelson said, is he believes that it simply isn’t something the city needs at this point, referencing the availability of marijuana in surrounding communities that already have passed medical marijuana ordinances.

“I just don't think it’s a need,” Nelson said. “And from the amount of residents that have talked to me and other council members, I don’t see it as something the majority of people within the city of Standish want anyway.”

By opting out now, the city still has the ability to opt back in at a later date should it be advantageous, Nelson said, but by taking no action, the city would be subject to the full extent of the referendum.

This is unlike medical marijuana, Nelson said. Communities had to opt in to allow medical marijuana facilities to be established, and by taking no action in that case, they were essentially opting out.

The city of Au Gres has also passed an ordinance opting out of recreational marijuana.

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