BATTLE CREEK, Mich– The confusion over medical marijuana dispensaries finally got cleaned up in the state legislature after people in Michigan spent years trying to work within the vaguely written ‘Act’ passed by voters in 2008.
Now communities like Battle Creek are trying to come to terms with the new rules.
On Tuesday, the Battle Creek City Commission held a workshop to talk about what would happen if they adopt an ordinance allowing the licensing for the sale of medical marijuana.
The overall goal of Tuesday’s workshop at City Hall was to start the conversation, while introducing some ideas and getting the public’s input.
During the meeting, the city attorney talked about things like growers, processors, transportation and how the licenses to make it all legal would be issued.
“Getting to think about what we would do in the city of Battle Creek if we wanted to adopt this. To have some familiarities with the licensing scheme and things to think about," says Jill Humphreys Steele, the Battle Creek City Attorney.
Supporters say, medical marijuana patients need a safe location and reliable source to go buy their medicine.
“In regards to having dispensaries, my grandma was 70 and it was important for her to have access," says a person whose grandmother died of cancer. “And there are people in that age bracket that will not have that access to something that could really improve their quality of life.''
As for where to place the dispensaries and how many to allow, the chief of police says a lot has to be figured out before adopting a medical marijuana licensing ordinance.
"There are a number of challenges in terms of the infrastructure in how is the state going to manage this in and of itself. And what I'm really referring to is big picture items like money, insurance and guns," says Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker.
Since guns can't be used to guard the medical marijuana, and because it would primarily be a cash business with federal banking laws, Chief Blocker says they must figure out a way to provide security for the transportation of the product and revenue.
The city is still determining whether it will have another workshop like the one held on Tuesday or if it will just pass the ordinance.
If it passed, the city would be able to start issuing licenses in December.