FENNVILLE — Fennville’s former city hall may become one of the community’s first marijuana shops.
On Monday, Fennville city commissioners approved selling the city’s property at 222 Maple St. for $282,000 to Patricia Dewenter of Wyoming.
Fennville’s municipal staff and elected officials made the transition last month to a new city hall, just down the street in the former Chemical Bank building at 125 Maple St. City administrator Amanda Morgan said 125 Maple is larger, closer to downtown and has more parking, all of which make the new location more accessible to the community. Monday’s meeting was the first commission meeting in the new building.
Dewenter says she and her father plan to turn the old city hall into a dispensary. Timelines for the business are uncertain as she needs to obtain a recreational marijuana business license from the state, but Dewenter said she hopes to stock a wide variety of marijuana products, including food products, extracts and oils.
The sale of the building is contingent on the Fennville City Commission approving zoning changes to the property to allow for the sale of marijuana and the city granting Dewenter a recreational marijuana license.
Fennville only last month approved its local marijuana regulations, which require marijuana businesses to apply for a license from the city and pay a $5,000 fee.
Under the purchase agreement, the city of Fennville will rent garage space at the former city hall from Dewenter to store some city equipment.
Morgan said it wasn’t entirely surprising to see the building bought for a marijuana dispensary, given the interest in marijuana businesses in the city and the fact that it was the only commercial property on the market in the small community.
The rezoning of the property from office to business/retail is on the agenda for the March 23 planning commission meeting, Morgan said. The rezoning will also require the approval of the city commission.
Dewenter said she wants to open this fall, though she’s realistic about the time it will take to get there.
“It’s going to take time, it’s not going to open as fast as anyone wants,” Dewenter said.
— Contact reporter Carolyn Muyskens at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @cjmuyskens.