LANSING, MI. (WILX) – East Lansing may be the next city to decide whether or not to allow recreational marijuana sales, that’s just one pot-related item the city council will be dealing with on Tuesday night.
On top of the long-term recreational pot issue, the city is also considering changing some zoning rules for medical marijuana shops.
East Lansing will have to decide if businesses already approved to sell medical marijuana should be able to sell recreational weed as well.
Councilman Aaron Stephens says there are more factors to consider.
“It’s a constant concern with cities. The truth is the state will intervene in local business all the time and it’s not just with marijuana.”
There’s a sense of urgency to get regulations in place before the end of the month to avoid losing control to the state.
Matthew Abel, Attorney and Partner of the Canabis Council says allowing recreational marijuana could be a plus in the city.
“It will create jobs, It increases property value. It’ll raise tax money,” said Abel. “It’ll provide consumers with a choice and tested and labeled product and if its available to adults at a store that’s going to check for ID, it’s less likely that minors will be able to obtain it.”
The city also has to decide if it should change zoning rules for medical marijuana.
The owner of the former Oades Big Ten Party Store wants to sell it, but he’s too close to another licensed pot shop under the current ordinance.
The council is leery of rushing into a zoning change that could have unintended consequences.
Stephens said, “I feel like at the end of the day, when we’re putting in zoning like that, we really have to protect ourselves and make sure everything that we’re doing is up to a certain standard so that we’re not legally liable or being discriminatory.”
Still Stephens says he hopes the council will follow the public’s wishes.
“You listen to your constituents. The truth is if they want marijuana to be legal then they can get marijuana as a legal substance – it’s just on us to create the rules.”
The council won’t vote on recreational marijuana on Tuesday, but they’ll decide on whether a public hearing will take place later this month.
The state will start accepting recreational marijuana business licenses on November 1… So that’s the deadline for cities and townships to ban recreational sales.
The state plans to start approving those licenses by December sixth.
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