CONSTANTINE, Mich. — Marijuana retailers in Constantine had their heads on a swivel due to a recreational marijuana ordinance proposal on the May 4, 2021 ballot.
Constantine residents were slated to vote on whether to prohibit recreational marijuana sales and establishments in Constantine.
“We weren’t necessarily shocked about it, but it does put a huge wrench in our program,” David Helman, partner at Constantine Wellness Center, said.
The ballot item sought to amend an existing ordinance, asking Constantine voters: “Shall Constantine adopt an ordinance completely prohibiting adult-use recreational marihuana establishments in the village?”
A "no" vote would mean voters wanted recreational marijuana businesses to operate in the city. A "yes" vote would mean they didn't want them.
Dominic Iemma, chief operating officer for Fawn River Cultivation Company, said they were building a brand new facility in Constantine, hoping to bring jobs and tax revenue to the city.
“Unfortunately, if the recreational doesn’t stay in Constantine, a lot of the jobs that we’re planning on filling here will probably have to go with it,” he said.
Although FRCC sold medical marijuana, recreational marijuana was a bigger part of the market.
Helman said his business model was based on recreational sales, rather than solely medical.
If voters decided to vote against recreational marijuana in Constantine, businesses like his would be limited to only medical sales, which Helman said would make him unable to compete with other businesses throughout Michigan.
“It’s not enough to make it in this business. We know for a fact that there aren’t enough cardholders to support a business like ours in this community,” Helman said.
News Channel 3 tried talking to residents and churches to get their input on this ballot item. We went inside Trinity Missionary Church and an official told us no one was available for comment.
The ordinance was scheduled to take effect 10 days after results were announced.