PORTAGE, MI — The sale of recreational marijuana is now legal in Portage after the city council approved the ordinance on Tuesday, May 26.
During the virtual meeting, the council voted 6-1 to amend the ordinance allowing medical marijuana provisioning centers to expand adult use marijuana business as well.
The new rules allow growers, processing facilities, safety compliance facilities, secure transporters, retailers, microbusinesses, excess growers and designated consumption lounges in Portage.
Council member Terry Urban told the council he still disagreed with Portage participating in adult use marijuana business despite the state law allowing it. Urban voiced concern that allowing adult use marijuana only makes it more accessible and therefore more likely to end up in the wrong hands, he said.
“It’s really hard when my 13-year-old daughter asks me why I would vote for this, to give her an answer,” he said.
During public comment, Jevin Weyenberg, co-owner and co-founder of Lake Effect, told council members allowing adult use marijuana will fight against the black market, offer an educational tool for those new to cannabis and open a new sector of the economy.
He estimated 100 to 300 jobs will be created within the year from the new business and noted that 10% of the excise tax will go back to the city.
“I’m looking forward to being part of an industry that pays dividends back to the city of Portage for generations to come,” he said. “Thank you all for opening the doors to that.”
Lake Effect, located at 8314 Portage Road, has been operating as a medical provisioning center since last March. Weyenberg estimated the store will be able to start selling adult use marijuana within the next three months.
The new ordinance and application will be available at www.portagemi.gov/641.
Kalamazoo Township became the first municipality in the county to opt-in on Jan. 27. So far two stores, KKind and Herbology, offer adult use products in the township.
The Kalamazoo City Commission voted to opt-in on recreational marijuana business on Monday, May 18. The new ordinance will go into effect May 28.