MENOMINEE — In Michigan, it is currently legal for anyone aged 21 or older to use marijuana recreationally. Additionally, anyone aged 21 or older may have up to 2.5 ounces on their person away from home and up to 10 ounces at home. They may also possess no more than 15 grams of cannabis concentrate and may grow up to 12 plants in their home. However, as the state continues to work out the specifics of legally selling marijuana, Michigan’s municipalities have the ability to opt out of permitting recreational marijuana dispensaries within their city limits. This was discussed at Tuesday’s Public Safety/Public Works Committee meeting.

Following up on a workshop conducted several months ago by the city attorney of Kalamazoo, Clyde Robinson, City Manager Tony Graff wanted to build on the discussion with Menominee’s Public Safety committee. “Are we going to keep moving forward with further discussion or move toward a position?” he said.

Graff said the state’s rules for retail of recreational marijuana are still being developed, and Robinson said he believes that the state will have some draft rules ready by August. “The rules itself for the retail and growers, different classes (of growers), those will probably get approved sometime in December,” he said.

He also said that there are currently over 300 communities in Michigan who have opted out so far.

“Both our public safety units would take the position to opt out,” he said. Committee chairman Doug Robinson asked what the city’s position is on medical marijuana dispensaries. Mayor Jean Stegeman said Menominee would have had to actively opt in. “No action was taken by the council, so if you take no action, you can’t have the medical dispensaries in your communities. You could have home-care growers, but not commercial,” Graff said.

“If we don’t opt out,” he continued, “what would be recommended is, as the rules come in, we’ll have to address those rules as they work within our land use plan; where appropriate locations would be, where they’d fit. We’d have to create a process.”

Robinson initially made a motion to recommend that the City Council choose to opt out, however Councilmember Steve Fifarek said he didn’t have enough information to support the motion. “I wish I had more info on this, I just don’t know what to think on this,” he said.

“That’s why I’d like to send it to the full city council,” Robinson said, “Let’s hear from everybody and see which way this is going to go, try to get a discussion going.”

“We could also adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ approach like Marquette did,” Stegeman said. “Maybe Houghton did that too; wait and see until there are rules and regulations in place and the state’s got their business all worked out. I think we need more discussion.”

Administrative Secretary Susan Johnson said, “Why not have a Committee of the Whole meeting? You can get everybody’s thoughts on it.”

Stegeman agreed. She said, “everybody can freely discuss it and we’ll circum-note from there what we’re going to do. I think everybody needs to be able to discuss it. You know, everybody still gets to smoke it whether we’ve got someplace that sells it or grows it regardless. Opting out doesn’t mean that aspect goes away.”