Lansing City Council Considering Moratorium on Pot Businesses

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

The growing number of dispensaries, compassionate care clubs and hydroponics stores in Lansing in the two years since Michigan's Medical Marijuana Act was approved by voters is causing the city to look at slowing things down.

The City Council introduced a proposed ordinance that would block new businesses from opening up in town. The moratorium would last a year but could be shortened if the city comes up licensing or regulation. Currently opened businesses would not be affected by the moratorium.

"It would give us a year to work through this information and come up with a cohesive ordinance that will be the most effective for Lansing," said city councillor Carol Wood.

Some local dispensary owners are in favor of a moratorium because it would allow the city time to institute regulations around issues like security, insurance and zoning.

"We applaud the city of Lansing for doing this," said Ryan Basore of Capital City Caregivers. "This gives the city a chance to slow down and look at what they can do to regulate our industry."

But not everyone is in favor of the ordinance.

"This is a business and these people need to have a right for business," said John Pollard, a Lansing resident who thinks that the proposed moratorium is too long. "We can't keep this up too long because this is a legitimate business, no matter what some people may think."

Councilmembers Kathie Dunbar and Jessica Yorko both voted against even setting a public hearing to discuss the ordinance because of issues they had with the length and breadth of the moratorium.

East Lansing attorney Jeffrey Hank has been looking to open a moratorium in East Lansing but has been stymmied by a similar moratorium in place in that city. He's in favor of a more laissez faire approach to the industry.

"We're not putting moratoriums on other businesses," said Hanks. "It seems like we ought to be bringing this into the legitimate limelight and passing a moratorium doesn't allow others to do that."

The council is expected to vote on the ordinance on December 6th following a public hearing.


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  • by Darius Location: Ingham County Resident on Dec 28, 2010 at 05:35 AM
    I think it all boils down to the city of Lansing and the State Department trying to control the medical marijuana like it controls other legal drugs. Not possible when the product in qusestion comes out of the soil naturally. I think there are other issues that need the attention of the powers that be than Marijuana. No jobs, employers saying " We only hire family " and smile and toss your application to the World Trade Center stack. The uncontrollable price increases in petroleum and food. Lack of the American spirit in state of Michigan. War veterans cover the grounds of Ingham and surrounding counties like snow during this double recession. Just a few things other than Marijuana that I think carry more weight and concern of the people than Marijuana does. To much time on your hands and not enough work for the big wigs downtown brings all kinds of childish rules and regulations that are put in place to control the starving population. Starving for jobs food and shelter.
  • by Anonymous Location: owosso on Dec 6, 2010 at 10:10 AM
    why do these people keep calling this a POT business it is a medical marihuana business and yes it is spelled in the law with an H so lets get with it allready! the michigan voters should change the name to the english version cannabis. who picked that spelling anyway? I wouldent say that the news is a gossip business. so if u could stop calling the medical marihuana business a POT business it might be in our favor.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 30, 2010 at 12:59 PM
    My first impression is to laugh at the idea that there is an opportunity to create jobs and the city needs a full year to think about it. Security is an important issue, so maybe a 60 day window to figure things out would be in line. However, placing a bunch of rules and fee's in place would be a mistake. The legalization of this industry took place two years ago and the business aspect of this industry is growing and will take place in Michigan. Weather those jobs are created in Ann Arbor and Detroit, leaving Lansing behind again will be seen in this Moratorium vote.
  • by Jeff Location: Lansing on Nov 30, 2010 at 06:21 AM
    The City of Lansing has 7 flower shops. I think there should be a moratorium on flower shops. Way too many of them in town. If you think that sounds absurd then you should think that the moratorium on dispenseries is too. Let capitalism do it's job and stay out of the way City Council.
  • by Frank Location: Lansing on Nov 30, 2010 at 04:55 AM
    Good. At least I dont have to worry about any popping within the city limits, but i live two blocks from the city limits.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 30, 2010 at 04:50 AM
    I think the city council is trying to do the right thing here.
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