https://cannabisexaminers.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/mi-holland_logo.png
SHARE



COLDWATER — Coldwater is on track to allow adult-use marijuana licenses in the city after accepting a recommended zoning ordinance from its planning commission. 

The 7-2 vote will bring the ordinance up for final approval June 22. It would become effective July 14. 

Zoning by special use permit will concentrate retail near the U.S. 12/I-69 corridor, zoned C-4.  

All other recreational marijuana operations, from grow houses, processors, testing and transportation, are limited to the D-2 industrial zones.

To help downtown redevelopment,  the city council requested and will include the downtown C-2 district for retail marijuana sales.

Because of St. Charles school on Harrison Street the ordinance it reduced the distance from schools from 1,000 to 500 feet. The setback from residential zoning also will be 500 feet.               

The planning commission also decided to limit the number of potential retails sales establishments by requiring each license to be 1,000 feet from another. 

Mayor Tom Kramer said the setbacks would limit the number to about seven near the interstate, probably one downtown and a couple of stacking opportunities in the industrial park.

The ordinance allows retail sales as part of a grow operation that processes, “stacking” at services at the same location,” Kramer said.

Attorney Josh Covert urged the city to include medical marijuana in its ordinance. He said he had a client who has been in retail locally for 20 years and would like to pursue a license, but is prevented by the current ordinance.

State law requires recreational licensees to be current medical license holders until Dec. 6, 2021, when anyone may apply. If medical marijuana were included, a new licensee could apply for both. 

The microbusiness license may go anywhere and does not require a prior medical license. That is limited to a 150-plant growing operation and is self-contained. The city will allow those in the city, but not in industrial. 

Council member Emily Rissman asked why no single retail in the industrial zone. 

Jeff Budd, CBPU director and planning commissioner said the city and commission did not consider retail appropriate for industrial.

“You wouldn’t expect a McDonald’s in industrial,” Budd said.

Rissman said a local owner could start out as a microbusiness then transition to a larger grow after the December 2021 timeline. She moved to allow them in the D-2 zoning, but no one seconded.

Kramer said it will delay for almost a year for medical marijuana zoning to process through the system. The planning commission instructed the city attorney to begin the process. Covert disagreed it would take that long. 

Councilman Jim Knaack said he is uncomfortable allowing licenses downstairs from rental units. He questioned why distance is only 500 feet from schools and residential but requires retail sales to be 1,000 feet apart. 

City manager Keith Baker said this creates a limit on the number of licenses in any district. 

Knaack said he would “rather have them 1,000 feet from churches and schools and have them altogether.”

Council member John Petzko said at 1,000 feet, only Monroe Street would fit downtown. 

“The whole idea is the financial benefit from this. Let’s have more altogether,” Knaack argued. “If you are going to have it, why not make as money on it as you can. Keep it away from the schools and where the kids are.”

Planner Dean Walrack said the special use permit allows the planning commission to use its discretion to control where they go. 

A second ordinance also was introduced to lift the moratorium and allow marijuana licenses, set the fees and process for licensure in the city. 

Both were approved with only Second Ward council members Knaack and Chad Johnson in opposition. 

Anyone applying for a city license must first be approved by the Michigan Marijuana Licensing Agency. 

 

 

 

 

0
SHARE

Leave a Reply