BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — The City of Battle Creek is one step closer to deciding whether to allow recreational marijuana businesses to operate within city limits.
The planning commission voted 5-1 Wednesday to recommend an ordinance allowing recreational marijuana facilities to operate within Battle Creek. Those facilities would include retail, processing, growing, safety compliance, transportation and micro-businesses. The commission opted not to recommend special licenses, which would include designated consumption businesses and temporary event licenses.
"City commission can take their own action, but there is a lot of weight and compelling trust for the city commission of the planning commission to make their own recommendation," said Battle Creek City Planner Eric Fedlt.
Fedlt expects city commissioners to discuss the ordinance at their first October meeting. The issue is underway as communities across Michigan are facing a state-wide opt-out deadline. Under emergency rules established by the state, communities have until November 1 to adopt ordinances that would not allow recreational marijuana businesses to operate.
According to a list compiled by Bureau of Marijuana Regulation, about 600 communities had opted out at of July 26. Some said they planned to revisit their opt-out status in the future.
Cities can also opt to adopt their own ordinances allowing recreational marijuana facilities, giving them greater local control over the businesses. Fedlt said recreational businesses with state licenses will be allowed to operate in communities that take no action before the November 1 deadline.
"By taking no action, its essentially also saying to the state that the city subsequently allows it, passively," he said.
Under the ordinance proposed by Battle Creek's planning commission, growing operations would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of churches, residential zones, libraries, parks or schools. Recreational facilities involving the processing, testing, sale and transport of marijuana would also have limitations.