REED CITY — After discussing the possibility of opting in to recreational marijuana, the Reed City council has made no movement toward allowing marijuana to be sold within the city limits.
Despite Council member Nate Bailey believing it was time to reconsider the city’s initial decision to opt-out of recreational marijuana in 2018, the rest of the council did not believe they had enough information to make a decision at the Tuesday, Jan. 21 city council meeting.
Covering a wide range of possible issues like higher overdose rates and unemployment rates rising in areas where a provisioning center exists, Interim Reed City Police Chief Brian Koschmider recommended more research be done prior to making a decision on recreational marijuana.
“We are new to legalizing recreational marijuana,‘ he said. “(...) I am sure you will find arguments either way, for or against. But there are, like I said, ramifications there.‘
In hearing what the other council members and Koschmider had to say, Bailey said not allowing the sale of recreational marijuana did not mean the drug was not going to be in the city.
“I go back to the point that I have made time and time again,‘ he said. “Whether or not we as a city allow that, it’s not going to stop people from buying it. It is just going to stop them from buying it here.‘
Prior to the meeting, Bailey said “it would be silly‘ to not benefit from a legal drug that is going to come into the city with or without the city opting in to recreational marijuana.
According to a Detroit Metro Times article published on Jan. 16, with a 10% excise tax and 6% sales tax, the recreational marijuana sales have generated $1.7 million for the 10% of Michigan municipalities that have opted in to letting facilities in.
But whether or not the city allowed recreational businesses within the city limits, Mayor Trevor Guiles said he did not want this to be about the money that could come from this.
“In hearing our discussion, though, I’m concerned that the only reason that we would move forward is for money,‘ he said. “When this has a much, much larger impact in my mind than just financial. This is not a financial decision. In my mind, this is a decision that could have a much greater impact on our community.‘
In wanting to hear more from the public before moving forward, council members Dave Scharlow and Karen McKinney suggested the council put this decision in the hands of the people.
“Let’s put it on the ballot,‘ McKinney said. “We will get a better idea of what people want with a vote than we will in this room.‘
While it is too late to get a ballot item on the March ballot, City Clerk Jackie Beam said there was still time to get something on either the August ballot or the November ballot.
No motion was made to put anything on any upcoming ballot or to move forward with the possibility of drafting an ordinance for recreational marijuana in Reed City.