Still rolling at Hartford Speedway

Drivers prepare for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series last year at Hartford Speedway.

HARTFORD — Speed and weed may coexist one day at the Hartford Motor Speedway. 

A medical marijuana growing operation at the Hartford Motor Speedway is being vetted by the city. It would sit on 5 unused acres of the site’s 42 acres.

“We’re open and we’re still racing. It doesn’t really effect anything,” racetrack owner Tim Dibble said.  

Initial reports by The Herald-Palladium about the application for a facility said the racetrack was still for sale, but Dibble said that changed earlier this year. 

“We listed it for sale in October with the plan not to sell if it wasn’t sold by scheduling time for this season,” Dibble said. “It was a shot in the dark to see if it would sell. Then this other deal came along. Hartford passed the medical marijuana ordinance, and I have a piece of property with the right zoning that has 5 empty acres.”

Medical marijuana growing facilities must be on at least 5 acres and in areas zoned light industrial or agriculture, according to Hartford’s medical marijuana ordinance, which was passed in November. 

The application was still under review by the city as of Wednesday. Hartford Clerk RoxAnn Isbrecht said the city is waiting for some additional documents from the applicants.

Dibble said if the operation is approved, nothing will change at the racetrack. The people running the marijuana grow operation would lease the property from him, he said. 

“People would have just thought I put a shed up out behind the pits if nothing was written about it,” he said. “It’s way back on the property where people won’t be.”

The city’s fire and police chiefs and building inspector will vet the application before it is sent to the city’s Planning Commission for review. Then the city’s attorney will look it over and it will come to the City Commission for consideration.

If the City Commission approves the application it will go to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for a state license.

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