Hearing on Harrisville marijuana ordinance June 5

HARRISVILLE — A public hearing for Harrisville’s ordinance to regulate medical and recreational marijuana has been scheduled for an upcoming Planning Commission meeting at 6:30 p.m. June 5.

The Planning Commission meets at 200 5th St.

The City Council was made aware of the public hearing on Monday by its attorney, Dave Cook, who said that the Planning Commission will issue a summary report to the council following the public hearing. Council members will consider the Planning Commission’s recommendation on the zoning amendment at the council’s June meeting.

“At that point, if the recommendation is to pass the zoning amendment, the council would act on all three pieces at your June meeting at once,” Cook said of the medical marijuana ordinance, the recreational marijuana ordinance, and the amendment to the zoning ordinance.

In his report to the City Council, Alderman Mike Baird, who also sits on the Planning Commission, said Consultant Tom Reif, with Michigan Municipal Cannabis Consultants, has done “a fabulous job for the city” by putting the ordinances together in a timely fashion.

“He came up on two nights, and spent long nights, and both of those nights, to pull this off,” he said. “I think we’re in pretty good shape.”

He said the documents have been given to Cook to review and that all aldermen now have a copy of the documents.

The proposed ordinance would allow medical marijuana facilities to operate in the city’s industrial zones and recreational marijuana establishments to operate in its commercial and mixed-use zones, according to the draft zoning amendment.

Harrisville’s industrial zone is located on the south end of town, just north of Harrisville State Park. Its commercial and mixed-use zones are located along the U.S.-23 corridor that runs through the city.

The council decided in March to allow both medical and recreational marijuana to be sold within city limits and directed the Planning Commission to develop an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance.

In doing so, Harrisville became the first municipality in northern Michigan to allow recreational marijuana to be sold in its limits after voters legalized the drug in November.

Over the past two months, the city’s planning commission has worked with Reif to develop a medical marijuana ordinance, a recreational marijuana ordinance, and an amendment to the zoning ordinance to regulate marijuana facilities and establishments for the city.

Reif is being paid $5,000.

By allowing recreational marijuana to be sold in the city limits, the city will receive some of the state excise tax income.

Reif previously told The News that, in addition to the state excise tax income, the city could also receive funding through property taxes and could also charge an annual permitting fee of up to $5,000 on marijuana businesses.

Under the new state law, the excise tax on medical marijuana will disappear, while the excise tax on recreational marijuana will be levied at 10%. Of that 10%, 15% goes to cities, villages and townships that allow recreational marijuana facilities, 15% goes to counties that allow recreational marijuana facilities, 35% goes to K-12 education, and the other 35% goes to roads and bridges.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.