Mount Clemens considers marijuana caregiver ordinance

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published April 19, 2021

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MOUNT CLEMENS — Mount Clemens is one step closer to adopting a medical marijuana caregiver facility ordinance.

At the April 5 Mount Clemens City Commission meeting, one item up for discussion was introducing and reading the ordinance, which was approved in a 4-2 vote. Its April 19 meeting, after press time, was set for when the ordinance adoption could happen.

Commissioners Ron Campbell and Laura Fournier voted no. Commissioner Denise Mentzer was absent from the meeting.

In November, the commission adopted a resolution establishing a moratorium on issuance of any permits, certificates or approvals relating to patient caregiver cultivation of marijuana.

“The city has experienced a number of cooperatives in vacant industrial or commercial buildings where multiple caregivers have gone into one building, fenced it off and are growing plants as if they had a growers license under the Medical Marijuana Ordinance,” Mount Clemens City Attorney Michael Murrary said.

Murray added that the ordinance provides for caregivers to be restricted to single-family residences. The ordinance would permit two caregivers per home, with each residence being the principal dwelling for each caregiver.

Resident Patrick Abu-Joudeh spoke about the ordinance at the meeting.

“There’s a lot of contradictions over what the 2008 MMMA law was and what this ordinance is proposing,” he said. “The biggest contradiction I know of, especially in this community, is we had a lot of residents complain about neighbors growing back in the day and now we’re forcing this into a residential area and taking it out of commercial areas.”

Abu-Joudeh added that the city wants to regulate marijuana like it’s a commercial entity, by charging permit fees.

Fournier explained why she voted no, commenting that as a former teacher for 30 years, she recalls several instances where students were involved with marijuana.

“It did not have a good outcome, and I’ve said I will never have anything to do with marijuana,” she said. “I am so tired of it.”