Montrose residents weigh in on medical marihuana facilities: still no vote

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MONTROSE, Michigan (WJRT) - (12/05/2017) - The city of Montrose is still trying to decide if it will allow medical marihuana facilities as the state gets ready to begin accepting applications on Dec. 15.

At a public hearing on the city's proposed medical marihuana ordinance Tuesday evening, residents voiced their opinions on whether Montrose would benefit from becoming a part of the new industry.

A sampling of opinions included:

-- "The only way to increase tax revenue is to build something new and I'm sorry nobody's built anything new in Montrose in a long time," said Montrose resident Anthony Brown.

-- "I think our town doesn't want it," said Pastor Tim Hobson, " I'm also speaking on behalf of the Montrose Ministerial Association that unanimously are opposed to this."

-- "This just opens the doors for a lot of things that would be very negative for our community," said retired teacher Bob Masser.

During the period of public comment, six people spoke out in favor of allowing licensed medical marihuana facilities in Montrose, while seven people spoke out against passing an ordinance that would allow for grow facilities, processing centers, testing facilities, and secure transporters.

The ordinance will not allow for provisioning centers, better known as dispensaries.

At Naples Pizzeria in downtown Montrose, more people eating dinner shared their opinions about medical marihuana facilities being allowed in their city.

"It might bring us business, I mean we know what happens when people smoke that so it's all good I think," said waitress Summer Thompson.

"It could bring money and jobs, as long as its going to run the way they say its going to be run," said Montrose resident Bob Coxon.

City Councilman Robert Arnold made it clear at the meeting that he intends to vote "no" on the ordinance.

Mayor Colleen Brown says she'll vote in favor of the ordinance after knocking on doors and hearing from more than 120 residents who want the ordinance to pass and 43 who don't.

"We have had cut after cut after cut in our spending and we have said many times, how can we get a new revenue source? And here it is," she said."

With two council members absent, the city council decided not to vote on the ordinance Tuesday night. Instead they will meet again on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. to vote on the issue.

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