Residents debate potential cannabis industrial park - WNEM TV 5

Residents debate potential cannabis industrial park

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MONTROSE, MI (WNEM) -

Michigan's legalization of medical marijuana created a debate on whether more pot means more money or more problems.

That's the question one town is trying to answer after plans to create a new dispensary sprouted up.

A developer approached the city of Montrose about building a cannabis industrial park. They said it would create a significant number of jobs.

"They say it's supposed to employ 150 people or so. I'm all for people working," said Joe McKuen, Montrose resident.

McKuen lives across from where the controversial marijuana grow houses would be built. He said he is a little concerned about having kids and being so close to it, but also see the potential benefits.

"If Montrose were to do it and it raised money, if they don't the other cities are just going to get the money. So why not do it," McKuen said.

A public forum held on Monday showed the city is torn over the decision.

"This community would be known as a marijuana community. This is not what I want for the community I live in," said Tim Hobson, local pastor.

New laws at the state level give control to local municipalities to decide to create ordinances that would allow medical marijuana in their community.

Marijuana would be taxed and a portion of that revenue would funnel back to Montrose.

For some, they want no part of it because of the stigmas of marijuana. Others, like McKuen, said it's a no brainer.

"We already got pot shops here. There's pot shops up the road and so I don't see what the big difference is if they grow it here," McKuen said.

Montrose city officials said they wanted to open the issue up for discussion before any decision is made.

"Just waiting to see what the council wants to do decision wise and where they want to go," City Manager Neil Rankin said.

He said city council is deciding whether or not to adopt an ordinance that could pave the way for construction of the facility to move forward.

"You have to weigh those pros and cons of what it will bring versus the quality of life," Rankin said.

A vote on an ordinance could happen at the next city council meeting on March 27. The ordinance would only serve as another step in the process of bringing the plant to Montrose.

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