BELDING — A medical marijuana grow facility in Belding is receiving a license to grow plants for recreational use after city approval Tuesday, Sept. 15.
The Belding City Council voted 3-2 to amend Medical Marijuana Ordinance No. 550 to allow Botanical Biologics, LLC to add an additional grow license. It allows the company to grow up to 2,000 marijuana plants for adult use.
The council also voted to amend the marijuana zoning ordinance to allow the adult use marijuana license.
Mayor Brad Miller, Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Meyers and Councilmember Jorel Davis voted to approve the ordinances, while council members Mike Scheid and Douglas Feehan voted no to each.
Botanical Biologics, 1331 W. Main St., in Belding, asked for an additional grow license to cultivate its adult use product, said Belding City Manager John Niemela.
The adult use cultivation license would allow the company to grow plants in its current facility that would then be sold to a licensed adult use provisioning center.
Lisa Ratliff, of Botanical Biologics, provided the council with a list of cultivation centers in Michigan, saying there are about 17 functioning within 65 miles of Belding.
“This is really something that we need to have in order to stay competitive with the market as more and more cultivators are coming online,” Ratliff said.
Ratliff said recreational and medical marijuana plants are grown the same but have different tag labeling. Medical marijuana uses yellow tags, while recreational uses blue.
“It just gives us the opportunity to sell to retail outlets, which is a provisioning center, a product that they can sell as adult use,” Ratliff said.
A first reading of the ordinances took place at the council’s Sept. 1 meeting. According to the approved meeting minutes, Scheid said he would vote no, saying Botanical Biologics is breaking its promise of assuring the council it would only grow medical marijuana. Feehan agreed. Ratliff said the industry is changing.
Botanical Biologics’ expansion plan is to allow for an additional 2,000 plants with Class C adult use plants, Ratliff said.
The company plans to break ground on the structure a year from now. Niemela said the expansion must be completed within three years of the approval date, which was in early 2019.
During council member comments Tuesday, Davis thanked Ratliff for “trying to make a business work here in Belding.”
— Contact reporter Evan Sasiela at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SalsaEvan.