MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – In a stunning course correction, the Muskegon Heights City Council voted Monday to reopen its medical marijuana ordinance to consider the potential for dispensaries within city limits.
A resolution to review the ordinance for revisions was approved during council’s regular meeting Monday on a 5-2 margin. Council plans to take up the issue once more at its next work session on June 18.
The move runs counter to decisions made by council when it first opted in to new state rules that allow medical marijuana plants and products to be grown and manufactured. Council members specifically barred dispensaries out of fear that they would spread to every block and be accessible to children.
But that decision happened before Walter Watt joined the council in 2018. Since then, Watt has made impassioned pitches to allow and include regulations for dispensaries, or provisioning centers, where medical marijuana can be purchased by licensed cardholders.
Watt brought the issue up again at council’s last work session on June 4. Watt said then that he kept pushing the issue because he didn’t want Muskegon Heights to forego opportunity when it was pounding stridently on its front door.
The councilman echoed the same sentiment before the Muskegon Heights City Council approved the resolution Monday.
“As I said before, I support this because in the process of looking at this entire opportunity, to not consider all the opportunities and just pieces of it, is not a good business practice,” Watt said. “We constantly turn away opportunity for the wrong reasons. In the past and in the present.
“We have to bring in businesses that are coming to us and knocking on our door.”