City open to learning more about pot shops

COLOMA — Coloma city commissioners want to learn more about what marijuana shops would entail before they make the expected decision to opt out. 

Commissioner Jason Hicks said at Monday night’s meeting that Charlena Berry, with the Cannabis Business Group, will attend next month’s meeting on Dec. 10 to answer any questions commissioners may have about how a business selling marijuana would operate. 

“She’s with a company that works with municipalities to write up the ordinances to allow cannabis in municipalities. She does all the legal side of it. She’s been doing it quite a bit,” he said. “If the public would like to come, that would be great.”

At their meeting earlier this month, Mayor James Polashak told commissioners that he’d been working with a lawyer and Coloma Township on an ordinance to opt out of allowing marijuana businesses in the city and township.

Before the last meeting, the city had never taken a stance on either medical or recreational marijuana, though several people have approached the city about establishing such businesses. 

Hicks said he has heard from someone who owns a business in the city that they are interested in opening a dispensary. 

“I’ve seen the results and 57 percent of the city voted to legalize marijuana,” he said.

Coloma voted in favor of Proposal 1, which legalized marijuana, with 328 in favor and 251 saying no.

Commissioner Julie Smith said she has no objection to listening to Berry speak, but would like to hear from someone who is opposed to having marijuana businesses in the city. 

“I’d appreciate hearing both sides of the story,” she said. 

In other business, the City Commission voted to apply for a $5,000 grant from the Michigan Township Participating Plan. The money would be used to upgrade security at City Hall and to renovate the entrance area. 

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman