By Charles Sercombe
The talking is over for now when it comes to marijuana and the City Council.
The council decided at Tuesday’s council meeting to snuff out further discussion on where to allow medical marijuana growing collectives to operate until state legislators take a look at the voter-approved law.
The law was actually passed by an overwhelming majority of voters two years ago. Since then, many communities across the state are having a hard time figuring out how to regulate the sale and growth of medical marijuana because they view the law as too open-ended and vague.
Supporters of the law say it was purposely worded to be that way in order to avoid lawmakers from restricting it.
According to media reports, state legislators are expected to tackle the law as soon as a new session begins in January.
Hamtramck’s City Council has tabled proposed zoning and licensing laws until Jan. 25 to see what changes are made to the state law.
Still, the council seemed to be divided about where to allow growing facilities to operate. Councilmember Cathie Gordon is adamant about keeping collectives off of Jos. Campau, saying the city’s main business district should be preserved for retail businesses.
Although she conceded there are a lot of empty storefronts – referring to it as “decay” – she insists the city needs to keep Jos. Campau solely for retail, not collectives that are shutoff to the general public.
One thing they all agreed on is to keep commercial operations out of the neighborhoods because of possible odors from the plants and the possibility of attracting crime.
Although the council has stepped away – at least for the moment – from regulating marijuana cultivation, that doesn’t mean the issue is dead. As Councilmember Tom Jankowski pointed out, anyone can still open a collective because state law permits it.
It’s unlikely, however, anyone would risk investing money into such an operation since state lawmakers may put severe restrictions on the law or even attempt to abolish it.