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Niles council hears recommendations on recreational marijuana rules

NOW: Niles council hears recommendations on recreational marijuana rules

NILES, Mich. --- What will recreational marijuana’s future look like in Niles?

Some are hoping marijuana festivals and marijuana mom and pop shops will be a part of it, as recommended to the Nile city council to consider Monday night.

The Niles city planning commission made recommendations to the city council on where marijuana businesses should be and how they should operate if the council chooses to opt-in to allow recreational marijuana in Niles.

In November 2018, the city of Niles opted-out of allowing the buying and selling of marijuana but that decision was only temporary. Once the state of Michigan finalizes the laws for recreational marijuana, they’re planning to revisit that decision.

The recommendations are simply recommendations until the city of Niles chooses to opt-in. Mayor of Niles, Nick Shelton, says this framework is all encouraging.

“The city of Niles wants to be leaders in the planning of marijuana businesses and ordinances and I think we are doing that,” Shelton said.

Only a few seats were empty in the council chambers as planning commission presented their recommendations for recreational marijuana ordinances in Niles. The recommendations included things like odor, signage, and allowing public marijuana events.

 “Some of these recommendations are for micro businesses, for events that will be zoned for recreational marijuana use,” Shelton said. “The council will have a lot to consider when it comes to those.”

It was also made clear in the recommendations that downtown Niles would not be a location for marijuana businesses because of the Children’s Center situated in the heart of downtown. State law says a marijuana business can’t be within 1000 feet of a school.

Instead, they offered the 11 Street Corridors and Industrial Park to be areas for marijuana businesses.

The recommendations will all be considered when the council revisits whether they will opt-in to allow the buying and selling of recreational marijuana in December.

“People being excited to open a business in Niles is a good thing,” Shelton said. “The ultimate decision will be up to the council on what we decide to do but the recommendation from the planning commission is very helpful in making that ultimate decision.”

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