East Lansing, Michigan, the home of Michigan State University, has scheduled a public meeting on October 16, 2018 to consider Ordinance No. 1416a, which would authorize the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries.  The ordinance requires prospective applicants to submit a special use application for the real estate location.  The dispensary may not be a residential structure, and must be, among other things, at least 1,000 feet from any school or licensed child care facility, day care facility, or after school program.   Indoor cultivation facilities must include filtration systems that prevent odors from emanating outside the building.

On its face, East Lansing’s ordinance is significantly less restrictive than the ordinance recently adopted by Grand Rapids, Michigan in July.  Grand Rapid’s 1,000 foot minimum distancing regulation includes, in addition to school facilities, publicly owned parks and playgrounds, churches and places of worship, substance abuse centers and residential zones.  Also, Grand Rapids requires applicants to be pre-qualified by the State of Michigan prior to submitting an application.  The application must also include evidence of insurance, a site plan, a sign and lighting plan, a safety plan, and an operations and management plan, among others. 

Obtaining approval to open a medical dispensary in an opt-in city is growing increasingly important as polls continue to show that Michigan may vote to approve recreational marijuana in November.  

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