Roseville City Council votes to prohibit recreational marijuana businesses

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published July 12, 2019

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ROSEVILLE — At its regular meeting July 9, the Roseville City Council voted to prohibit businesses involved in marijuana growing or selling for recreational purposes from being in Roseville.

Allowing businesses to grow or sell marijuana for medicinal purposes is a separate issue and one the City Council will be voting on at a later, unspecified date.

The measure was passed with Council members Steven Weitecha, Colleen Macarthy, Catherine Haugh, Mayor Pro Tem Jan Haggerty and Mayor Robert Taylor voting to approve the ordinance to prevent recreational marijuana businesses from being in Roseville, while Council members Bill Shoemaker and Charles Frontera voted against the measure.

Those who supported passing the ban said they were primarily concerned with a lack of information on the subject coming out of Lansing with only temporary rules on recreational marijuana facilities being approved by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in early July.

Mayor Pro Tem Jan Haggerty said she didn’t want to approve something that could have negative consequences for residents because a decision was made without knowing the possible ramifications.

“I made my decision not only because of the advice of our counselor, which was to wait (until we know more), I want to know what the rules are going to be before I get our citizens involved in recreational marijuana,” she said. “My concern and responsibility goes to our citizens and their well-being, and I do not want anything coming up later that we voted to approve until we know what the rules are.”

Frontera said allowing the facilities would be the best choice for the local economy and respectful of Roseville residents’ votes, which approved the legalization of recreational marijuana when it was on the ballot in November of 2018 by a margin of 11,073 votes to 5,880 votes.

“I feel like we’re setting a bad precedent for business owners who want to come into Roseville,” he said. “The state has already set the bar pretty high on these types of businesses; you have to have so much money and so much capital and so on and so forth. I feel like we’re being very imprudent with the fact that we’re missing out on a huge business opportunity and we’re missing out on a huge tax opportunity. I think that the residents in Roseville voted overwhelmingly in favor of recreational marijuana in November of last year, so this is basically just going back on the residents that overwhelmingly voted ‘yes.’”

Prior to the vote, Shoemaker attempted to table the issue to a later date; however, the tabling was voted down with only himself and Frontera voting to approve the delay.

“I wanted to give this a fair vote, so I voted to table the issue or revisit it at a later date, but ultimately the rest of the board have their opinions and that’s how things fall sometimes,” remarked Frontera.

“I didn’t want to table this,” said Haggerty. “I wanted to have it be addressed.”

Members of the council added that the issue could be revisited at a later date. Haggerty stressed that citizens are not being served by making uninformed decisions.

“I know that the voters voted for the recreational marijuana, but as far as the city is concerned, we want to be responsible for our citizens and know exactly what we’re approving or not approving,” she said.

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