Grosse Pointe Farms approves ordinance barring marijuana businesses

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 22, 2019

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Like their peers in Grosse Pointe City, Park, Shores and Woods, the Grosse Pointe Farms City Council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance prohibiting marijuana establishments from opening their doors in the community.

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Derrick Kozicki said the Farms City Council voted on the matter at a meeting Jan. 14. The vote was 5-0 in favor of the ordinance; City Councilmen James Farquhar and Lev Wood weren’t present for the meeting.

Under the state’s 2018 Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, a marijuana establishment “means a marihuana grower, marihuana safety compliance facility, marihuana processor, marihuana microbusiness, marihuana retailer, marihuana secure transporter, or any other type of marihuana-related business licensed by the (Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs).”

The Farms’ ordinance, which has been added to the city’s zoning codes, states that marijuana establishments “are completely prohibited within the boundaries of the City of Grosse Pointe Farms, shall not be a permitted use in any zoning district … and shall not be permitted as a home occupation in any residential district.”

As Grosse Pointe City Attorney Charles S. Kennedy explained last month, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, which was adopted by voters in November, allows municipalities to regulate facilities that grow, process, distribute and sell marijuana.

This is different from an earlier state law permitting the use and sale of medical marijuana; under that law, a community “had to affirmatively opt in” for medical marijuana facilities to open their doors, Kennedy said.

If cities don’t opt out of the state statute, anyone can apply to open a marijuana facility in those communities.

The ordinance “is effective 20 days after it’s published” Jan. 24, Kozicki said.

Grosse Pointe Park City Manager Dale Krajniak said the Park City Council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance barring marijuana establishments during a meeting Dec. 10. The Park council voted 7-0 in favor of the ordinance.

The ordinances may prevent marijuana businesses from opening their doors in the Pointes, but they do not — and cannot — prevent individuals from using small amounts of recreational marijuana in their own homes, as approved by Michigan voters in November.