Council douses marijuana dispensary plan.

February 21, 2018

Council douses marijuana dispensary plan.

#OceanaCountyNews

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

ROTHBURY — The Rothbury Village Council extinguished a plan to build a marijuana dispensary proposed by Michigan Grow Supply with a 5-2 vote Tuesday evening, Feb. 20.

Meetings regarding the proposed dispensary in the village have drawn many supporters, packing the council room to near capacity. However, many of the supporters in attendance are not village residents.

A vote to “opt out” of the plan was put on the table Tuesday evening, and voting in favor of that motion were Village President Scott Beishuizen and council members Cindy Cruz, Vern Talmedge, Jim Fekken and Bob Fulljames. Council members voting against the motion were Autumn Sluyter and Mike Harris, according to Village Clerk Carol Witzke.

Michigan Grow Supply, located in the old bank building on Michigan Avenue, proposed transforming the vacant building south of the shop, which is the former Dominic’s grocery store, into a dispensary facility.

Anna Bayer, who has operated Michigan Grow Supply for just over a year, also proposed building a grow facility and warehouse behind the current shop.

Bayer had told the council that the village will financially benefit from the new business through the hiring of 40 new full time workers and five to 10 part time positions; by receiving yearly permit fees up to $5,000; by receiving 25 percent of the 6 percent sales tax; through donations to “city reform” for scholarships, grants and recreational equipment; and several other perks.

Many people spoke at the previous Feb. 6 meeting about how much medical marijuana, which is legal in Michigan if you obtain a medical marijuana card, has helped them with various illnesses and injuries.

Although several spoke in favor of the dispensary, some offered their concerns.

Oceana County Commissioner Bob Walker, whose district includes Rothbury, previously said, “I’m not going to disparage any of the things that were said.” Walker said he has had friends with terminal cancer who benefitted from medical marijuana. However, the county board went on the record, Sept. 14, 2017, opposing the legalization of marijuana for non-medical use. Walker cited the increase in traffic crash fatalities; children having easier access to the drug; and that marijuana is not legal under federal laws.

When the council asked audience members to stand up if they were village residents, only a small portion of the audience rose.

The Hart City Council “opted out” of allowing marijuana facilities in the city with a resolution that passed with a 6-1 vote, Dec. 19, 2017.

Bayer previously said she will move her business to a different location if the dispensary project was rejected.

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