Pot law is a zoning dilemma

medical pot


By Charles Sercombe
With a new city attorney on board, city officials say they are preparing to tackle a zoning question that has been long delayed.
Medical marijuana dispensaries have been legal for several years, but Hamtramck officials have refused to take up a needed, critical step in allowing them to operate here.
To be specific, the city has to come up with a zoning law that designates where the dispensaries can operate and how many licenses to operate here can be issued. Without those items in place, no dispensaries can open up.
According to officials, there are several would-be operators waiting in the wings to open up.
But no matter what zoning law the city comes up with, operators, growers and transporters will have a huge hurdle to jump. State legislators have passed requirements so stringent, any mom and pop style operator won’t have the financial means to get into this business.
State law requires operators and those associated with the production of marijuana to have liquid financial backing totaling up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. On top of that, they must also have clean criminal backgrounds and not have a history of falling behind on property taxes.
Also, all those connected with the dispensaries must be listed – meaning there cannot be any silent business partners.
A state panel has been set up to review all applicants. So far, it doesn’t look good.
The first two people to apply were denied permission because of past records. There are hundreds of applicants waiting to get approval and the panel has been moving at a snail’s pace.
On top of all this, there is a chance the recreational use of marijuana may become legal in the near future. It looks like a ballot issue to legalize its use will be on the November ballot.
However, it’s not clear where or how users could purchase marijuana. That again, may become a zoning issue.

12 Responses to Pot law is a zoning dilemma

  1. Concerned

    April 13, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Is this city run by idiots. Adding pot dispensaries with already over stretched police dept.

  2. csercombe

    April 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    “A new study co-written by a UC Irvine business professor has found no correlation between the closure of marijuana dispensaries and reduced crime rates near them.

    “Rather, it discovered the opposite….”

  3. guest

    April 15, 2018 at 7:37 am

    That explains why we don’t get any decent coverage from this newspaper. Its reporter is probably stoned.

  4. John Dory

    April 16, 2018 at 12:27 am


    Under your logic, we should outlaw banks and other financial institutions from operating in Hamtramck due to a national history of bank robberies.

    This is ludicrous.

    The city is in need of an infusion of new businesses to bolster our sagging local economy.

    Legalizing marijuana is the wave of the future. The City of Hamtramck must join the 21st century.

  5. Concerned

    April 17, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Banks do not sell drugs.

  6. Resident

    April 20, 2018 at 8:51 am

    @Concerned – Pharmacies do sell drugs. Wanna outlaw them?

  7. Concerned

    April 20, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Pharmacies are legal. Dispensaries are not.

    Forty medical marijuana businesses across Michigan got an unpleasant visit Thursday from state officials and the Michigan State Police, ordering them to stop operating.

    And those visits are just the beginning. Hundreds more are expected to get cease and desist letters in the coming days.


  8. Resident

    April 24, 2018 at 9:16 am

    In the first paragraph of this article, the author states that, “dispensaries have been legal for several years.” If I were to believe the author, you have got your facts wrong.

    Question comes to mind – an unlicensed pharmacist operating an unregistered pharmacy is selling ILLEGAL drugs, isn’t it?

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