East Grand Rapids proposal to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, compassion clubs in commercial district moves forward

The City Commission will consider banning medical marijuana dispensaries and compassion clubs in East Grand Rapids’ commercial district.

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended an ordinance to prohibit dispensaries Tuesday after no one spoke at a public hearing. The City Commission may consider it at its June 6 meeting at City Hall, 750 Lakeside Drive SE.

A city subcommittee is still looking at possible regulations for caregivers and patients in residential districts, but City Manager Brian Donovan said dispensaries are not a compatible commercial use in the business district. Zoning already prohibits such establishments in residential areas.

The city drafted the ordinance in response to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act of 2008, which was passed by 63 percent of state voters. A city moratorium is in place through August.

The prohibition also aims to eliminate the group dynamic of commercial dispensaries.
City Commissioner Amna(cq) Seibold, who also sits on the Planning Commission, said the ban makes sense.

“I think this is reasonable and fair and in the best interest of our community,” she said.
Planning Commissioner Tom Getz said the ordinance is effective in maintaining character in the commercial district without infringing on anyone’s rights.

E-mail the author of this story: localnews@grpress.com

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