Grand Rapids using medical marijuana ordinance to prepare for recreational

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The battle of legalizing marijuana is over and now that the dust has settled from the Nov. 6 election, the groundwork is being laid for the best way to handle what will be a legitimate business in Michigan.

Tuesday the Grand Rapids City Commission reviewed the medical marijuana ordinance, which is important because it paves the way for what will be the city's recreational ordinance.

"I do believe the work we’re doing right now to work through medical marijuana ordinance, will lay down the foundation and groundwork that we’ll do sometime next year as we do recreational marijuana once we get more direction from the state,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss.

The Grand Rapids City Commission knows getting the medical marijuana ordinance done right will make the transition to recreational easier. However, it will be about a year before the state finalizes regulations on recreational pot, something the city is taking into account.

“The state law was written in a way that you could allow recreational at the same location as medical marijuana facilities,” says Suzanne Schulz with the Grand Rapids Planning Commission.

The current ordinance proposal will allow for 40-50 facilities in Grand Rapids city limits. Application fees will cost $5,000 and facilities will have the potential to be both medical and recreational.

Bliss says they will revisit the medical marijuana ordinance at their next meeting Nov. 27. The goal is to start accepting applications early next year.

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