City manager: amendments would allow for ‘industrial-type’ marijuana facility in Cadillac | News

CADILLAC — Cadillac City Council members recently witnessed firsthand how a large-scale marijuana manufacturing facility works and on Monday, they voted to set a public hearing that may result in such an operation coming to Cadillac.

Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia said council members and staff visited an operation about 25-30 minutes away and added that seeing it up close and personal was “remarkable.”

Peccia said proposed changes to the city’s recreational and medical marijuana ordinances would allow for such a “industrial-type facility” to set up shop within the city’s industrial park.

According to agenda documents containing the language of the proposed ordinance amendment, “the City wishes to amend Section 10-2 of the City Code to eliminate marihuana license caps for certain establishments, eliminate stacking restrictions for recreational marihuana growers in industrial zones, and allow equivalent licenses to be operated in the same location to the extent permitted by state law.”

A nearly identical ordinance amendment has been proposed for medical marijuana facilities: “the City wishes to amend Section 10-3 of the City Code to eliminate marihuana license caps for facilities other than provisioning centers, eliminate stacking restrictions for medical marihuana growers in industrial zones, and allow equivalent licenses to be operated in the same location to the extent permitted by state law.”

Under the proposed amendment, when a licensee holds equivalent licenses for a single property, each facility or establishment counts as a separate facility or establishment.

Equivalent license means any of the following held by a single licensee: a marijuana grower license of any class, a marijuana processor license, a marijuana provisioning center license, a marijuana secure transporter license; and a marijuana safety compliance facility license.

Currently, the city caps the number of Class A, Class B and Class C growers to one each. It also caps the number of processors, secure transporters and safety compliance establishments to one. The amendment would permit the authorization of an unlimited number of those establishments in the city.

The amendment would permit stacked grower licenses to be authorized in facilities in the Light Industrial and General Industrial zoning districts. Currently, stacked grower licenses are prohibited in the city.

Council member Bryan Elenbaas asked for clarification about the ordinance amendments and if they would allow for grow centers to operate within residential neighborhoods. Peccia replied that the amendments apply only to operations within the industrial park and added that the city’s restrictions pertaining to the number of retail and provisioning centers remain the same under the proposed changes.

Council voted unanimously to set the public hearing on the proposed ordinance amendments for Dec. 6.

During public comment, resident Randy Lindell said he wondered why none of the amendments were discussed before the November election.

“Nobody talked about the skies being the limit on marijuana,” Lindell said. “It’s a shame.”

Lindell concluded that with meth use so high in the area, it might make more sense for the city to set up a meth clinic rather than making it easier for marijuana to be manufactured.

Also on Monday, council voted unanimously to keep council member Tiyi Schippers as mayor pro tem.

Council also OK’d a request from staff to approve $7,500 to match a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to pay for wellhead protection efforts.

According to council documents, the city historically has worked with Fleis and Vandenbrink on wellhead protection matters, including services related to the last round of EGLE grant funding. Fleis and Vandenbrink completed the wellhead protection work for the Crosby Well wellfield site and are currently in the middle of the 44 Road well field site wellhead protection plan.

Council authorized Director of Utilities Jeff Dietlin to sign the grant documentation on behalf of the city.

In addition, because of the historical knowledge based on prior wellhead protection work provided to the city, council waived competitive bidding and appointed Fleis and Vandenbrink to administer the Wellhead Protection Grant.

Total project costs are $14,500 with 50% of the costs reimbursed by the grant. Funds for this project are available in the FY2022 budget in the Water and Sewer Fund.

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