Grand Rapids to host medical marijuana forums ahead of public hearing

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids officials are set to host a public hearing for a proposed zoning ordinance that would allow and regulate medical marijuana facilities in the city next month. 

Before then, however, the city’s planning department will hold four additional community meetings to provide information about the proposed ordinance amendments, and allow officials to answer questions from the public. 

The meetings will be as follows:

11:30 a.m. Monday, July 2 at the city’s development center, 1120 Monroe Ave. NW, room 201. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch. 9:30 a.m. Friday, July 6 at LINC Up, 341 Hall St. SE. 3:30 p.m. Monday, July 9 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 1935 Plymouth Street SE.  6 p.m. Monday, July 9 at West Grand Neighborhood Organization, 415 Leonard St. NW.

Grand Rapids marijuana proposal would allow up to 43 facilities 

City officials began considering a potential medical marijuana ordinance after a citizen petition was started by the group “Smart & Safe GR” with the focus of bringing licensed and regulated marijuana facilities to Grand Rapids through a November 2018 ballot proposal.

In order to get out in front of the issue and control the potential roll-out of dispensaries, the city’s planning department put together a proposal and presented it to the planning commission, which reduced the proposed limitations on May 24 and passed its recommendation to the city commission. 

On June 12, city commissioners discussed the two proposals — the planning department’s and planning commission’s — and voted 6-1 to push the more conservative proposal along to the public hearing phase.

As written, the ordinance would allow up to 43 medical marijuana facilities in the city based on separation distances from schools, child care centers, parks, churches/places of worship, rehabilitation centers, residential zone districts and other marijuana facilities. 

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