Recreational marijuana up for a vote in the city of Kalamazoo – Midwest Communication

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Kalamazoo City Commissioners are scheduled to approve their ordinances to allow recreational marijuana businesses in the city during a meeting on Monday.

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KALAMAZOO, MI (WKZO AM/FM) — The sale of recreational marijuana in the city of Kalamazoo could be approved Monday evening.

Kalamazoo City Commissioners will hold another virtual meeting where they are scheduled to adopt the business zoning ordinance and the two resolutions for permit fees and their social equity policy.

The ordinance amendments would permit 8 different types of recreational marijuana establishments:

  1. Grower (the number of plants permitted in each class is different for adult use than three medical)
  2. Processor
  3. Safety Compliance (testing laboratory)
  4. Secure Transport (transportation services)
  5. Retailer (note that for medical marihuana the shops were called provisioning centers)
  6. Microbusiness: An establishment that can grow up to 150 plants, process the plants, and sell the product on site.
  7. Excess Grower: A license which gives a grower the permission to have a very large grow operation through the stacking of multiple grow licenses.
  8. Designated Consumption Lounge: A commercial business which allows the consumption, but not the sale, of adult use marihuana.

Businesses except for laboratories would have to be placed 1000 feet away from existing K-12 school buildings and 500 feet away from daycare facilities.

Commissioners have heard complaints from some citizens that the zoning ordinance should also keep them away from churches, parks and residential areas, and not just schools and daycare centers.

City Planner Christina Anderson says the proposed ordinance could create about 38 new retail sites alone, but that is assuming the properties would be available for sale and that no other marijuana businesses are nearby.

The social equity program was one of the reasons the recreational marijuana process was delayed. It is meant to help residents who are looking to join the marijuana industry but have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana enforcement in the past.

The drafted policy calls for a 25% reduction in the city permit fee of licensing fees for city residents living in the Northside, Edison and Eastside neighborhoods as well as those with past marijuana-related convictions as long as they do not involve distribution to a minor.

During a meeting in early May, City Attorney Clyde Robinson praised their social equity policy, “My impression is that, with the possible exception of the City of Flint, none of them are as robust as the City of Kalamazoo’s. Based upon my review of various other Michigan municipalities that have opened themselves up to recreational marijuana, I don’t think their programs are as strong as ours.”

The marijuana ordinance has been in the works for the last year and has a June 1st deadline. Last fall, commissioners decided to postpone the vote in order to hear more opinions from the public and to assess how other communities had found success with their rules.

Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Zoom at 7 p.m. Monday and then take a vote. The meeting can be viewed on the city’s Facebook and YouTube pages. 

Members of the public without computer or internet access can listen to the meeting by calling 269-552-6425 and entering Meeting ID 952  9401  6286 when prompted.

Those hoping to provide input about items on the meeting agenda can call 269-226-6573 and leave a recording on May 18th between 6:30 p.m. and the end of the public comment period.

The full agenda can be found here.

A full list of different zoning regulations for each business type, as well as a map overlay and all related documents, can be viewed online at the City of Kalamazoo website.

This article originally appeared here in https://wkzo.com/news/articles/2020/may/18/recreational-marijuana-up-for-a-vote-in-the-city-of-kalamazoo/1019303/

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