FERNDALE, Mich. — The Ferndale City Council voted Monday evening on medical marijuana zoning areas in the city.
The council decided to keep the medical marijuana facilities in the city’s industrial zones.
The council voted against expanding to commercial districts along Woodward Avenue or mixed-use districts along Livernois Avenue, Hilton Road and part of Eight Mile Road.
Over the summer, the Ferndale City Council passed an ordinance allowing dispensaries in districts zoned for offices and light and heavy industrial operations. The city charges a $2,000 licensing fee to medical marijuana businesses.
Annie Kalfayan has lived in Ferndale for more than 40 years. She said she has no problem with the marijuana businesses, as long as they are legal.
“I don’t mind as long as it’s for medical use, that’s fine. If somebody needs it, it’s there for them,” Kalfayan said.
Ferndale City Manager Robert Bruner, Jr. there are concerns about what might happen if marijuana distribution centers are allowed to open near otherwise quiet neighborhoods.
“Once you open a zoning district up to a new use, it’s much more difficult to eliminate it after the fact because then any new facilities that would open would be ‘grandfathered in’ and the city could not make them relocate later if it decided that it didn’t want those facilities in that zone,” Bruner said.
Neighboring Royal Oak decided last week to extend its moratorium on medical marijuana businesses, tabling the issue until February.
Other Oakland County cities such as Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills have bans in place.
Currently, there is only one medical marijuana business in Ferndale: Clinical Relief on Hilton Road.
About 10 people involved in the clinic were among more than 20 people facing criminal charges in connection with pot dispensary, along with private home raids in Waterford Township and Ferndale in August.
The people involved face charges of illegally growing and selling marijuana.
The medical marijuana law in Michigan has no provisions on pot businesses and how to regulate them. Many are hoping a test case in court will eventually help clear up ambiguous state laws on the issue.
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