GRAND RAPIDS, MI — City commissioners and community members can weigh in Aug. 17 on plans for six medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of several public parks.
Public hearings for all six will take place at the Grand Rapids City Commission’s Aug. 17 meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. Public hearings take place toward the end of the meetings.
Following that input, city commissioners will recommend at their following meeting, Aug. 27, whether or not the city planning commission should grant a distance waiver for each dispensary.
Planning commissioners will take into account the city commission’s position, but ultimately they have the final say when granting a special use permit. Before each special use permit is issued, planning commissioners hold another public hearing.
The facilities in question are near Ken-O-Sha, Fuller, Highland and Belknap parks. All but one of the facilities are proposed solely as dispensaries. The outlier is planned as both a dispensary and medical marijuana growing operation.
The city’s medical marijuana ordinance requires a separation distance of 1,000 feet between medical marijuana facilities and schools, day care centers, public parks, religious institutions and licensed substance abuse disorder program centers.
Except in the case of schools and day care centers, proposed medical marijuana businesses can request waivers from those restrictions, like the six near the parks have.
The majority of facilities seeking park distance waivers are planned at 300 feet or more away. The closest provisioning center is proposed at 60 feet away from Belknap Park.
David Marquardt, the city’s parks and recreation director, reviewed the six waiver requests and urged city officials to deliberate with hesitance, according to a July 23