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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Zoning recreational marijuana on hold in Coldwater

Local Government

By Kimberly James | Feb 12, 2020


An ordinance for zoning recreational marijuana in Coldwater is still being finalized by the city's planning commission.

City attorney Megan Angel and planner Dean Walrack have been working on the measure that will require those seeking licenses to operate a retail marijuana establishment to meet state standards.

Right now, the plan is for the city to require Special Use permits, limiting sales to the D-2 Heavy Industrial Districts. State law requires a 1,000-foot setback from preschools and schools, but the city has added a 500-foot setback from residential zone properties.

Rebecca Russell, a local mom hoping to obtain a license, told the Sturgis Journal there is concern about limiting sales to industrial areas, suggesting that would work for the farming and processing part of the marijuana industry, but not for sales. She said there is concern about safety in remote industrial zones and suggests the area around U.S. 12 and Interstate 69 a good area for retail sales.

“We want to keep them conservative, safe retail space where people can come and discreetly buy their medication,” she told the Sturgis Journal.

The state is no longer accepting applications for new medical marijuana sales locations. Users of both medical and recreational marijuana will be expected to purchase from the same licensed retailers.

First Ward Councilwoman Emily Rissman ran a poll and found that 59 percent of those who responded said they would like to see marijuana retailers in the retail area where they do most of their shopping at U.S. 12 and I-69.

The Planning Commission could vote not to have an ordinance, but the city council requested one because city voters approved the statewide measure. Commissioner and Chief Assistant Prosecutor Zack Stempien said the city could choose not to allow any licenses, but in that instance, voters could force a citywide referendum, the Sturgis Journal reported.

It was suggested that the commission comb through the details of the proposed ordinance at a later meeting.

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