MONROE, Michigan (WTVG) – Monroe Charter Township is developing an ordinance that will allow up to 25 marijuana businesses to open within the community.
But not when a group of community leaders have something to say about it.
Members of a coalition made up of school principals, business leaders, local politicians and law enforcement agencies are concerned about their city becoming a cannabis hotspot, as well as other long-term ramifications of their statements of oversaturation.
Last year, the community’s planning committee approved six cannabis companies, eight of which are slated for future meetings.
When the requests for businesses added up, the municipality revised the ordinance.
“We know there will be some that will come in, but we’re just trying to get them in a sensible, orderly way,” says coalition member and business owner David Swartout.
The 18 square miles of Monroe parish currently has about 15,000 residents, but the coalition has raised concerns that many of the potential cannabis business owners do not live in the parish.
“This is money that comes in because they can’t go anywhere else in our city and don’t have to live with the consequences,” said Kurt L. Darrow, President, Chairman and CEO of LA-Z-Boy. “When we have one or two we won’t be the beacon, when we have 25 it will be very annoying for our children, our community, our traffic.”
There are also concerns that the first regulation was passed illegally.
Colation member Jerry Oley, a former Monroe County Commissioner and current Executive Director of Operations at Monroe Public Schools, believes Monroe Township was not transparent about the process to citizens and believes the original ordinance was illegally passed.
“There are a large number of these marijuana companies that have an interest in coming to this community because the community has chosen not to opt out of legal restrictions. Every other parish in this county has either opted or opted out, which apparently everyone but Petersburg and Monroe Township have declined to ignore and ignore, “says Oley. “There I had the feeling that it disenfranchised the community and the residents here because they didn’t want us to know about it.”
The city of Petersburg is currently one of the 14 nationwide locations for Lume Cannabis Co.
Lume is also in the process of opening another pharmacy location in Monroe Township, the second in the county, according to Michael Dowdell, the company’s director of retail operations.
Dowdell says the new location will be smaller than the one in Petersburg, and ideas for roadside use during the pandemic.
He says the company is not at all concerned about the oversaturation in Monroe.
“We have no concerns that more stores will come onto the market. We have other stores in multiple cities with multiple cannabis retailers, ”Dowdell wrote. “We’re doing very well.”
When asked about other locations in the city, Dowdell says there are currently no plans.
“We are very excited to offer the Monroe community quality products at affordable prices,” added Dowdell.
We reached out to Monroe Charter Township and Supervisor Alan Barron last week who has not returned our calls for comment.
Copyright 2021 WTVG. All rights reserved.