Final community discussion planned in GR over medical marijuana

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Monday is your last chance to weigh in on zoning changes when it comes to medical marijuana businesses in the city of Grand Rapids.

City officials are holding a community meeting at the West Grand Neighborhood Organization off Leonard St. at 6 p.m. to hear from constituents about their feelings towards the city opting in the Michigan Medical Facilities Act of 2016. The move would make medical marijuana much more accessible throughout Grand Rapids.

"The city commission established July 10 for a public hearing to consider an amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow for medical marijuana provisioning centers, grow facilities, transporters, labs, all of the things that are allowed," said Suzanne Schulz, managing director of design and development at City of Grand Rapids.

This consideration comes months after city leaders drafted recommendations for the ordinance that would allow roughly 135 dispensaries and 350 other facilities to operate within mixed use commercial zone districts. These businesses would be allowed to function 1,000 feet from schools, playgrounds and churches, if the ordinance is passed. City leaders say they are taking into account the possibility of recreational marijuana in their zoning process.

"I think we're trying to anticipate with this ordinance that we would look at -- we understand currently its medical marijuana -- but look at and consider how the ordinance might apply if recreational came to happen," said Schultz. 

Tuesday's public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. July 10, in the ninth-floor commission chambers at City Hall, 300 Monroe Avenue NW. Validated parking is available in the Government Center ramp accessible from Monroe and Ottawa avenues.

Click here for more information on the city's efforts to expand these ordinances.

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