Gladstone bans pot businesses

GLADSTONE — After a quiet public hearing, a proposed ordinance to ban marijuana businesses within the city of Gladstone was adopted by the Gladstone City Commission Monday. The ordinance, modeled after one crafted by the city of Clare, prohibits marijuana establishments within the city limits.

Recreational use of marijuana became legal in Michigan on Dec. 6, 2018, after being approved by voters as Proposal 1. The law legalized the recreational use of marijuana by individuals 21 and older statewide and also set up the regulatory framework for controlling the commercial production and distribution of marijuana.

Municipalities have the option to opt-out on allowing marijuana establishments. Both precincts in the city of Gladstone voted no on Proposal 1.

City Manager Darcy Long said Gladstone is adding a section to its code that prohibits the business side of recreational marijuana.

“The state — in the law the state is required to make rules in dealing with recreational marijuana. If you read it, paid any attention to some of the articles that have been out there about what the state’s doing — they have to get this completed, the rules in place by the beginning of December of this year. Communities want to wait for those rules to come out to see what is going to happen first before they make any decisions whatsoever,” he said.

The state has until Dec. 6, 2019, to lay out its own rules on how marijuana-based businesses will be regulated. The licensing of recreational marijuana businesses won’t occur until the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs releases rules and regulations and begins the process of opening up license applications.

Long said a straightforward approach to the ordinance of banning marijuana businesses in the city of Gladstone was the process the city commissioners wanted to follow.

“It is straight to the point. It doesn’t have any sunset clause or anything like that,” he said.

City Commissioner Brad Mantela explained the city commission took the approach of making the ordinance simple to allow for changes to come along.

“If you look at the ordinance there are several sections that are reserved in it,” he said. “So as the state law comes in, this ordinance can be amended, it can be changed — just like any other ordinance on the books.”

The city commissioners unanimously agreed to adopt the ordinance. City Commissioner Dave Phalen was not in attendance atthe meeting.