Bay City passes ordinance allowing medical marijuana facilities - WNEM TV 5

Bay City passes ordinance allowing medical marijuana facilities

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

Just days after the state began accepting applications for medical marijuana facility licenses, a Mid-Michigan city decided it wanted in on the business.

Bay City just became the latest Mid-Michigan city to approve medical marijuana dispensaries to operate within its borders.

"Extremely disappointed," said Phil Lehmann, recovering addict.

He is at odds with the leadership in Bay City after the board of commissioners voted 7-1 to allow up to 50 medical marijuana facilities within city limits.

Lehmann insists the so called pot shops will pave the way to more drug abuse.

"The only reason to have a medical card, the only reason, not second reason, third. The only reason is to smoke it to get high," Lehmann said.

Public Safety Director Michael Cecchini has his concerns too.

The local law calls for a 50 foot buffer zone between the medical marijuana facilities and public buildings.

Cecchini doesn't like the idea of the shops potentially being across the street from his jail.

"Many people in the jail have substance abuse problems and to have pot shops in proximity to the jail is an attractive nuisance," Cecchini said.

City Manager Dana Muscott is not taking a stance on the ordinance. She said it will be awhile before the marijuana facilities roll into town.

"It's probably going to be a couple of months. I mean, obviously there's the application process and then the growing facilities are going to have to build and install what they need," Muscott said.

As for Lehmann, he said he is a recovery coach. He believes his job just got a lot harder thanks to the city administrators' decision Monday night.

"Families who are raising kids are not going to want to come to a community where there's such easy access to marijuana," Lehmann said.

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