Alma develops draft for recreational marijuana ordinance | Turn 420
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Alma develops draft for recreational marijuana ordinance



City of Alma officials have developed a draft ordinance to provide the licensing and regulation of recreational marijuana businesses in the city.

Currently, Alma only permits the operation of medical marijuana facilities within the city.

The proposed rules would govern recreational marijunana growers, processors, microbusinesses, retailers, safety compliance establishments and secure transporters.

Those seeking a license would initially have to go before the city planning commission to get approval for a special use permit.

The city commision would have final say in who is issued a license.

A nonrefundable application fee of $1,500 would be required. If the business is granted a license the money would go toward the annual $5,000 fee.

Anyone wishing to obtain a license would have to apply to the city manager.

The 23-page draft lists a number of requirements applicants would have to meet to be approved.

If there are more qualified applicants than the number of licenses available a lottery would be held and the winners chosen in a random drawing.

The draft ordinance does not state how many licenses will be available in each category.
No recreational marijuana facility would be allowed within 500 feet of a school.

The proposal also lists a number of “minimal operational standards” that would be required to operate a business in any of the six allowable categories.

Retail shops could only be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and marijuana could not be consumed on the premises.

Also, surveillance systems and security cameras would be required to monitor the entire interior and exterior of the establishment.

The draft ordinance was developed by City Manager Aeric Ripley, city attorney Tony Constanzo and other staff members after city commissioners voted 4-2 in August to look into permitting the sale of adult-use marijuana.

Currently Gratiot County has only one such establishment, Fire Island at the corner of State and Lincoln roads in Arcada Township, just one mile east of the Alma city limits.

Isabella, Clare and Montcalm counties also have recreational marijuana facilities.

Alma city commissioners are expected to discuss the proposed ordinance during an upcoming meeting.

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