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Thu July 31, 2014
Medical Marijuana and Macomb
Macomb aldermen were mum about proposed zoning regulations for medical marijuana facilities.
The recommendations forwarded by the city’s planning commission came up for initial review July 28. City Attorney Kristen Petrie outlined the code changes. Aldermen were then offered the chance to discuss the suggestions but no one spoke up.
First reading of the proposal will be held Monday, August 4.
The city’s planning commission recommended cultivation centers be allowed only in agricultural and general manufacturing districts. Dispensaries would be allowed in general business and light manufacturing districts.
State law prevents cultivation centers from being located within 2,500 feet of schools, daycare centers, and homes. The city ordinance also includes churches.
Dispensaries are not allowed within 1,000 feet of such places.
In addition, state law requires operators of either type of facility to obtain a special use permit. Macomb Community Development Coordinator Shannon Duncan said that gives communities a chance to review each applicant on a case-by-case basis, which is an idea she supports.
“We do want to see each and every one of these that comes through so that any and all limitations that need to be addressed are addressed,” said Duncan.
It might not be much of an issue in Macomb. Mayor Mike Inman said the city has heard from the operators of just three proposed cultivation centers and no dispensaries.
Inman said dispensaries would be retail operations and, like many other retailers, they probably won’t come to Macomb because the population base is too small for them to be profitable.
“We’ve been struggling with this with any number of business entities,” said Inman.
“I’d ask your listeners to name any business that they would like to see locate in Macomb. We could name a number of them. Some of them have great national appeal. But we’ll never see them in Macomb because we don’t meet the demographics -- the business model doesn’t fit here.
“I think it’s no different for this. It’s a business. And they’re not going to invest in a community where they’re not likely to see a return on that investment.”
Inman said he believes dispensaries are more likely to locate in places such as Peoria and the Quad Cities.
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