Medical Marijuana Dispensaries a step closer to coming to Benton Harbor

by WSBT 22 Reporter; DJ Manou

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries closer to being a reality in Benton Harbor

A scoring system has been put in place to grade applicants looking to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Benton Harbor.

The system works by… the more qualified the applicant… the higher the number awarded.

“It has a scoring mechanism in it, which I’m not sure if its good or bad yet until I can see it,” said Mark Smith. “I’d rather see a vetting process to make sure everyone gets vetted properly.”

Smith and his daughter Samantha own a dispensary in Bangor, Michigan.

He says he opened up shop six months ago and has already seen success with over 2,700 registered patients.

“If you put a pin in Bangor and drew a circle, we’re pulling people from about 125 miles away,” said Smith. “One of those towns being Benton Harbor, we’re at a little over 500 registries from Benton Harbor.”

Seeing the pull from Benton Harbor, Smith says the city could be a perfect spot to open another store.

According to the new scoring system, Smith’s experience and being from Benton Harbor could help him.

“We should add some bonuses for those that pay taxes, do business in Benton Harbor, spend money in Benton Harbor, live in Benton Harbor,” said Commissioner Mary Alice Adams.

Commissioner Adams says despite only two people showing up to tonight’s meeting, her phone has been ringing constantly with interested parties.

Adams says medical marijuana’s econonomic possibilities could bring jobs and people the city needs.

But she wants people before they begin the process, to know what they are getting into.

“This is something that is very costly to the business owners

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