Medical marijuana is coming to the City of East Lansing.
After almost three hours of discussion, the city council passed an ordinance with a vote of 4-1 to allow growers, processing, safety compliance and secure transfer facilities within city limits.
Councilmember Ruth Beier was the only dissenting vote.
“While I support medical marijuana, I think it’s a great idea and it’s helped a lot of people,” Beier said. “I do not support that the idea of helping the few developers who want to use our industrial areas to grow and process this product that we don’t know what the impacts are going to be and try to regulate them. I’m just not comfortable at this time, so I’ll be voting no.”
During public comment, community members spoke for and against passing Ordinance 1395. The biggest objection was concerns about the odor and possible increase in crime.
The ordinance outlines odor regulations and consequences for not following the regulations, including the fact that marijuana cannot be smelled outside of structure it is “cultivated, grown, manufactured or processed” in.
“There have been a lot of studies coming out that say the crime is usually not associated with an increase when medical marijuana is present,” Councilmember Aaron Stephens said. “There have been also several studies that say drunk driving goes down. I don’t believe this to be an issue after having conversations with members of our East Lansing Police Department.”
The facilities are only allowed in two different types of zoned areas, manufacturing industry and office industrial park. They also have to be at least 1,000 feet from the lot lines of “any licensed facility with after school programs, child care centers or daycare centers.”
Provisioning centers will be addressed in late December.
An addendum was made to the Center City