Saginaw City Council planning town hall to get opinions on marijuana businesses

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SAGINAW (WJRT) (4/19/2019) - Saginaw wants to hear from the people before making a decision on whether marijuana facilities will be allowed in the city.

A town hall meeting is planned for May 3 at the Community Action Center on Perkins Street. Mayor Floyd Kloc said the idea of a town hall has been discussed for a few months now.

"We felt it important to give the opportunity for the citizens to give us input," he said.

Ever since the November vote that legalized recreational pot in Michigan, local governments have been deciding whether they should allow grow, distribution or retail marijuana facilities.

Neighboring Saginaw Township said no to such facilities without hearing from the public, but the Saginaw City Council wanted to give its residents a chance to weigh in. The city council discussed the town hall at Monday night's meeting.

"The referendum was passed in the city, so certainly I am aware of the voting public's majority opinion," Kloc said. "I also have some concerns."

Some of his concerns will be addressed at the town hall, including environmental, health and legal issues that could arise if facilities are allowed in the city.

"Zoning, where do we want these? Do we want them in a neighborhood, or do we want them, if we allow them, do you want them in the middle of a neighborhood or do you want them some place where its less likely to impact a neighborhood?" Kloc said. "Those are all issues that have to be considered."

The Community Action Center building was chosen for the site of the town hall because it would hold more people than City Hall chambers.

"We are asking people to sign up ahead of time so we can ... have an orderly process for addressing council on their thoughts," Kloc said.

He said once they hear from the people, city council would eventually vote on the issue, but it's not clear when.

"The whole point of this is to get input, make no decisions," Kloc said. "There is no way to predict it. We've got several months."

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