Twenty show up to Buchanan meeting to oppose medical marijuana dispensary – South Bend Tribune


BUCHANAN — The existence of a medical marijuana dispensary here would take away from the hometown values promoted heavily by the city and others to entice more people to move into the community.

That was among the messages conveyed by a group of about 20 people who turned out for Monday night’s commissioners meeting to express their concerns about the idea, which recently cropped up thanks to three new Michigan laws passed last year to set up a framework for the state to legalize, regulate and tax a broader range of the medical cannabis industry.

The change likely to get the most public attention is the legalization of retail dispensaries, which had been bogged down by legal questions since the state’s original medical marijuana law was approved by voters in 2008.

The changes will create licenses for commercial growers, processors, secure transporters, testing facilities and retail dispensaries. The state also will allow cannabis-infused edible products and more potent extracts and oils. In return, the state and local governments will collect a 3 percent tax on dispensary sales, plus licensing fees from those who take part in the system.

Buchanan Community Schools Superintendent Andrea van der Laan said the community has been creating a vision that ”life is better here” and people here are friendly with ”big hearts” through slogans and other means of communication.

She asked the commissioners to consider the message a medical marijuana dispensary would convey about a place working hard to attract people who find such old-fashioned values appealing.

”I don’t want to see that change,” said van der Laan.

Jeanne Harris was among the residents who spoke in opposition to a dispensary in the city.

”How dare you consider

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