A lot to ponder on marijuana rules for city

News staff writer Steve Schulwitz recently reported on a new hitch in the Alpena Municipal Council’s consideration of whether to allow medical marijuana establishments downtown.

Several downtown proprietors told Schulwitz mysterious developers have floated around downtown, inking purchase options on several properties with the hopes of opening a medical marijuana establishment, should the council vote to allow it.

The developers are apparently offering big money to buy those buildings, contingent upon the council’s support of medical marijuana.

Many of the business owners told Schulwitz they’re not opposed to medical marijuana businesses, per se. They are worried, however, because none of them own the buildings where their businesses resident. They rent space. They worry that, should the council vote to allow downtown pot, the marijuana developers would become their new landlords and evict them to put a marijuana establishment in their place.

We would hate to see that happen. Our downtown is riding a wave of redevelopment that is drawing more tourists than ever to our local shops. Part of that is because of the ever-growing diversity of retail and eateries from which those tourists can choose.

We’d hate to see any one of those businesses forced out and replaced by a business that only can serve a relative few with medical marijuana cards.

We don’t envy the decision the council now faces.

The choice was hard enough when it was just a question of whether medical marijuana is the type of business that’s right for our downtown. Now, council members have to worry about the potential side effect of losing one business to another.

We hope they weigh their options carefully.



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