The medical marijuana decision made by the Adrian City Commission does not mean dispensaries or grow facilities will start popping up shortly.

It does mean such developments will likely be discussed and debated in the coming months and could eventually be a reality in the event the city later this year decides to enact local regulations for them.

By a 5-2 vote, the city commission made a decision to consider an ordinance allowing medical marijuana facilities within the city of Adrian. Commissioner Tom Faulhaber and Mayor Jim Berryman voted against the resolution.
City attorney Sarah Osburn said the city commission agreed to “consider” an ordinance, so there isn’t any obligation to anything more at this time. On the other hand the city will start analyzing and holding work sessions about a potential ordinance and determine its wording on such conditions as where and how many such facilities would be permitted within city limits.

The city commission’s actions is a response to a package of state bills (2016 PA 281-283) that enlarge the kinds of medical marijuana facilities allowed under state law and establishes a licensing structure for these facilities. Regulations regarding medical marijuana, as approved by voters in 2008, and primary caregivers continues to be in effect.

In a memo to the commission, city administrator Shane Horn urged the city commission not to consider an ordinance, for a number of reasons, one being he believes the majority of the people is against these facilities within the city.

Horn said the legislation allows local municipalities to decide whether to allow any medical marijuana facilities inside their jurisdiction. He said in case the municipality takes no action, none of the facilities are allowed. However, he also said a municipality that decides to allow such facilities must enact an ordinance expressly authorizing them.

Commissioner John Dudas said he went back and forth on this particular conclusion, but like the others in support on the commission he believes it’s about safer access. Moreover, he said it’s not merely about money, but also the fact that the community can control and regulate the facilities.
During the assembly, Michigan State Police Det. First Lt. Brian Bahlau gave a presentation to to the lessons learned from medical marijuana and lessons learned from complete legalization of marijuana in Colorado. One lesson is the fact that marijuana use among youth has increased and so has dependency treatment. He also said the anticipated tax revenue from its legalization has not materialized.

His presentation was contested by several individuals who spoke during the meeting about the need for medical marijuana, including in their own lives. Madison Township supervisor and former Lenawee County sheriff, Larry Richardson said it has helped him fight cancer. Adrian resident and Nicole Hernandez said not only would the facilities bring new revenue to the city, but it would acknowledge to the citizens of Adrian who need medical marijuana that they are really part of the community.

Opposing the resolution were such residents as Dave Davies and Dorothy Schmidt. Schmidt said she can’t support medical marijuana because she’s seen firsthand the negative effects of marijuana in her family and believes other medical alternatives or treatments can help. Davies said he is worried about what message the passage of the resolution would send to the young people in Adrian.