Recreational marijuana will be legal in the Michigan city of Dowagiac for the first time. In 2018, recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan, but Dowagiac officials refused to issue company licenses. Amanda Sleigh, the assistant city manager, stated that city officials needed additional time to draft their own code.
She said that state and municipal governments have collaborated to iron out flaws in state law and build best practices. There was never any doubt in the commission’s mind that we would welcome this enterprise into our community. There were certain bugs that needed to be worked out, so I gave it some time.”
It is now legal to operate marijuana-related enterprises in Dowagiac’s industrial parks and commercial highway zone, thanks to an ordinance passed on Monday. According to Sleigh, “pretty much anything on M-51 south of Family Fare” is included. Consumption establishments, excess crops, event organizers and temporary event permits are all prohibited by this regulation.
The city’s central business district likewise prohibits the operation of marijuana facilities. Sleigh said the city should be able to begin accepting applications roughly 30 days after publishing the ordinance and conducting a 20-day waiting period. The initial $5,000 application price is followed by an annual renewal charge of $5,000.
The City of Dowagiac has decided to enter the Michigan cannabis market after four years of watching the business evolve. When the City of Dowagiac’s Council met Monday, it unanimously passed the City’s Regulation of Marihuana Ordinance. The law specifies that the city is now legalizing recreational marijuana enterprises and mandates that all recreational marijuana establishments adhere to all state and municipal rules and regulations, as well.
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Among other things, it mandates that all recreational marijuana enterprises obtain city permission, sets criteria for the permitting procedure, and calls for licensing fees and restrictions on the number of licensees. Both highway commercial zoning districts and industrial zoning areas will allow marijuana businesses if they are located more than 1,000 feet away from schools.
Initially, the application price will be $5,000, and the number of licenses available for each type will be limited to three for each type of application. “Everything will be in place once the ordinance is published,” said Kevin Anderson, City Manager. Applicants can begin applying after a 20-day waiting period following the release of the announcement.
In total, there are six different types of licenses to choose from:
- Marihuana Growing Establishment, either Class A, Class B, or Class C Permits
- Marihuana Processor Establishment,
- Marihuana Secure Transporter Establishment,
- Marihuana Retailer Establishment,
- Marihuana Microbusiness Establishment, and
- Marihuana Safety Compliance Facility.
Only three permits for any sort of adult-use marihuana facility will be issued by the city, according to the new code. No AUME or permit of the following categories may be used within the city’s boundaries or jurisdiction:
- Designated Consumption Establishments
- Excess Marihuana Grower Permit
- Marihuana Event Organizer Permit
- Temporary Marijuana Event Permit
In November 2018, city officials opted overwhelmingly to opt out of the recreational marijuana business so that elected officials, employees, and legal counsel may follow the development of legislation and regulations relating to recreational marijuana facilities. The City of Niles, Buchanan, Cassopolis, and Edwardsburg have all worked through bugs and created practices that have worked in the four years afterwards.
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“Council just moved forward with it once everything settled down,” Anderson added. As far as opposition goes, “I do not think there is ever been any other than just making sure that everything is in place.” Mayor Don Lyons remarked, “We saw the angst that so many communities around this were going through.”
There was a lot of excitement about it, and we vowed that “our day would come.” A waste of resources was something we did not want.” As of March, 163 communities around the state received contributions from the Marijuana Regulation Fund, including those four municipalities, Berrien County and Cass County.
Each qualified county and city got more than $56,400 for every retail store and micro business with a license that is located within its boundaries. Local municipalities and counties are apportioned as follows:
- Buchanan: Number of licenses – five; city distributions – $282,267.20
- Cassopolis: Licenses – two; village distributions – $112,906.88
- Edwardsburg: Licenses – two; village distributions – $112,906.88
- City of Niles: Licenses – three; city distributions – $169,360.32
- Berrien County: Licenses – nine; county distributions – $508,080.96
- Cass County: Licenses – four; county distributions – $225,813.76
Council members think that they can now proceed swiftly and clearly through the establishment of sensible, effective recreational marijuana industry laws that are consistent and compatible with state law. The Dowagiac City Council has been deliberating for the past six weeks on a series of measures aimed at establishing the legal framework for recreational marijuana businesses in the city.
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Lyons stated, “We are fine with it.” “When the state took a straw poll, the vast majority of Dowagiac residents backed it. Rather, it was a matter of how to best utilize our limited financial resources, and we figured there were better ways to do so than through a year’s worth of meetings.