Saginaw City Council says no to marijuana businesses, for now

SAGINAW (WJRT) (07/23/19) Tina Saycosie believes in the power of a more herbal form of healing using marijuana.

"I'm a huge advocate for it. My grandmother was a doctor in Laos and the pharmacy was in the garden," said Pasong's restaurant owner, Tina Saycosie.

The longtime Saginaw restaurant owner was a supporter of Proposal 1, which legalized the recreational use and sale of marijuana in Michigan. She would welcome a marijuana facility to the area.

"Being a business owner in Old Town, there's nothing I fear about having it here," Saycosie said.

Since last November, when voters approved legal recreational marijuana, communities have been trying to figure out whether to allow marijuana businesses.

Bay City passed an ordinance allowing recreational marijuana facilities within city limits. But the Saginaw City Council voted to ban marijuana businesses on Monday.

"It's a total bummer. We have a chance to be really progressive, a chance to reinvest back into our city, a chance to decriminalize non-violent crimes and put real criminals in there," Saycosie said

She is not alone in her disappointment

"Oh, I thought it was nuts. They could be helping us, they could be helping a lot of people. Plus bringing jobs and more income to our city," said Saginaw resident Trisha Gemeinhardt.

Council members say they don't have all the information they need to write an ordinance allowing the facilities. So they want to wait at least a year until the state provides more information.

"I think that far fear is ruling the ones that are wanting to wait a year. I don't know what they are afraid of. I know because sometimes we have traditional thoughts and fears instilled by parents and grandparents, and you know movies and stuff like that," Saycosie said

Council members also passed a motion banning medical marijuana facilities as well. They plan to revisit the issue in a year

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