Kalamazoo medical marijuana decision won't come until 2018

KALAMAZOO, MI — City Attorney Clyde Robinson is working on an ordinance that would allow medical marijuana facilities to open, but it probably won’t be ready for a vote until the first months of 2018.

Kalamazoo postponed a decision on how it plans to react to new state laws governing medical marijuana facilities while it waited for the release the rules that will govern their operation. Monday, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs finally made these rules public, prompting Robinson to begin determining how they would affect local ordinance changes drafted in the fall.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” Robinson said. “This is a very large project and you have to take it one step at a time.”

It doesn’t mean Kalamazoo has given marijuana the green light. The City Commission will need to pass changes to its zoning code and code of ordinances.

New state laws regulating medical marijuana prompted communities across Michigan to decide how they will respond to the growing industry. Each municipality can decide for itself whether to pass an ordinance allowing the facilities to open, or not.

Read proposed ordinance drafts and see maps of possible facility sites

Commissioners expressed relief that the state finally solidified details that were vital for municipalities in determining ordinance rules related to zoning and regulation.

Robinson had been proactively pursuing the goal of having an ordinance ready before people can begin applying for a state license on Dec. 15.

“I promised that once we had the rules we’d start in earnest, maybe making some adjustments to the draft ordinances that I prepared,” Robinson said. “These are emergency rules … there will probably be changes between now and next June. For now at least, we have a road map from the state.”

Mayor Bobby Hopewell asked Robinson to compare

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