MANTON — With a statewide deadline regarding recreational marijuana quickly approaching in November, Manton city commissioners have a decision to make.
On Monday, Manton commissioners voted to draft an ordinance allowing certain types of medical and recreational marijuana establishments.
Mayor Garry Brown said they called a special meeting for commissioners to discuss which uses would be best for the town; they did not formally approve any of the uses yet, however, as this cannot be done during a special meeting.
Brown said there is an urgency to making a decision now because if they don’t have an ordinance in place by November, all types of recreational marijuana establishments would be able to open up shop in the city, as per the referendum passed by Michigan voters last year.
On Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., the commission will hold a public hearing to collect input on their proposed ordinance. At that point, they may make the decision to approve it.
Commissioners will discuss allowing several different facilities that fall under the purview of either the recreational marijuana law or medical marijuana law, or both.
Those facilities are the following: growing centers; processing centers; transporters; safety compliance facilities; and retailers, which include medical marijuana dispensaries.
Commissioners decided against considering licenses for microbusinesses, organizers, temporary events related to marijuana, and designated consumption establishments which allow a license for a separate business for onsite consumption of marijuana products.
Microbusinesses are those that permit the operator to grow and sell marijuana in the same location.
Brown said the city has a few vacant structures that could be potentially viable as marijuana growing or processing centers.
He said there are buildings in town that also could be used for retail, although commissioners will need to decide on the detailed zoning restrictions and locations for this type of use.
Brown said during the days leading up to the meeting, the city’s attorney will be drafting the ordinance using policies that have been by adopted by other cities — including the city of Cadillac, Kalkaska and Chesaning, in Saginaw County — as guides.
The meeting will be held at the Manton VFW Hall, which is located at 603 State St. In the event more people show up than the VFW Hall can handle, Brown said they may move the meeting to a different location.