FENTON, MI – As Fenton debates ending it’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries, a local businesswoman already has her sights set on the city.
“I’ve had my eye on Fenton for a while,” she said.
Jamie Fricke, who opened the first medical marijuana dispensary in Davison in March, said she gets several patients from Fenton and said it’s good that more municipalities are getting rid of moratoriums.
“(Politicians) are not as nervous as they used to be about it,” she said. “It’s encouraging that they’re doing it.”
At Holistic Earth, Fricke’s Davison dispensary, business has been steady, she said.
“We can only grow as fast as we can grow,” said Fricke said.
Fenton’s first steps toward creating a medical marijuana ordinance began during a July 7 city council work session.
With the city’s moratorium set to expire Sept. 1, City Manager Lynn Markland said the city’s planning commission will make a recommendation soon.
“I would think they would take it up this month or in August,” Markland said.
Distribution of medical marijuana, which had been prohibited during the moratorium, would require a special land use permit, with required spacing of 1,000 feet away from a school, day care, church, park or other religious facility; 300 feet from a pool, billiard hall, indoor or outdoor recreation facility, or other areas that are frequented generally by children and teenagers; and 300 feet from any other medical marijuana distribution and growing center.
Smoking at the facility would be prohibited.
If she does open up in Fenton, Fricke said her goal would be to get close to the highway, where traffic would be strong.
“There’s a couple of spots I’ve seen,” she said.
The first draft of the ordinance, presented to the council, calls for residents to not have more than 12 marijuana plants, in compliance with the Michigan Medical Marihuana act.
Markland said the city has received inquiries about distribution “pretty consistently” from businesses and individuals.
In 2010, the city placed its first moratorium on certain land uses connected with the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The moratorium has been continued several times and is still in place.
In February, the Michigan Supreme Court invalidated the city of Wyoming’s ordinance which strictly regulated medical marijuana and the city had to rewrite an ordinance regarding growth and use of it.
Several municipalities in Genesee County have looked seen discussions about medical marijuana since the passing of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act of 2008.
Swartz Creek officials passed an zoning ordinance to allow for dispensaries in the general business district and growing facilities in the heavy industrial district.
Meanwhile in Davison, their moratorium expired in September 2013 and, in March, Fricke opened her dispensary business in the community.
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