Otsego officially passes marijuana resolution
Otsego city commissioners passed a resolution at their Monday, Jan. 15, meeting prohibiting the operation of medical marihuana facilities.
City commissioner Tom Gilmer proposed passing the resolution, supported by commissioner Jim Misner.
Commissioner Nick Breedveld voted against it, questioning what he saw as overreach.
“I didn’t realize we needed to pass anything,” he said, alluding to the fact that the state law that makes regulation possible requires municipalities to opt in; it is prohibited by default.
Breedveld said, “It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
After Michigan voters approved a ballot question in 2008 allowing marijuana for medical use in the state, several cities such as Detroit and Lansing have allowed secondary businesses to operate. Then, last year the state legislature passed the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act, which created a regime where five different classes of business could deal with medical marijuana.
All are to be state licensed and they will only be allowed, however, if a local community allows them. Marijuana remains designated as a dangerous drug by the federal government. The U.S. Attorney General recently announced rescinding a rule that had directed federal prosecutors not to pursue cases in states whose voters had legalized medical or recreational marijuana.
When Breedveld said he believed the resolution would prevent current caregivers from growing and providing the legal medicine, Mayor Cyndi Trobeck said that was not the case.
Trobeck said. “By opting out now, it protects us from anyone trying to come in on the back end. This gives us time to take a look at what’s coming down the pipe, considering other things and change it at any time.”
She said it was ultimately opting out from the sale of marijuana not the care.
“It’s not retail; it’s a whole different ballgame,” she said.
Breedveld said, “Well, the caregivers are selling it at a profit.”
Trobeck said, “I don’t know if they’re selling it for a profit. it might just be at their cost.”
Breedveld said, “Yeah; OK.”
City clerk Angie Cronen said it was a relief to have a resolution in hand to now refer to, recalling a slew of calls in December inquiring if the city would be allowing the facilities or not.
Misner later in the meeting said he was glad to have passed the resolution.
“Some things do matter to me a lot,” he said. “This is one of then. I support what the commission has done.”