Marquette votes to hold public hearing regarding city marijuana sales

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - In Monday's late Marquette City Commission meeting, the board voted to hold a public hearing in the February 25th meeting.

The motion was passed 5-2 vote.

"We do see that Marquette will be participating in this new economic activity, but how and where are really the questions," said Jennifer Hill, a city commissioner. "This is our decision and particularly it is a big part of what we do and that part is what we will be talking about and looking at community input on."

Most commissioners that voted for the public hearing are also recommending an opt out ordinance similar to many cities throughout Michigan.

This is to allow time for the state's Department of Regulatory Affairs to establish rules and then evaluate whether to allow some or all of the types of marijuana businesses to operate in the city.

"Marquette will be an opt in city," said Marquette mayor, Fred Stonehouse. "We will be doing sales there’s no doubt in my mind, but by opting out at this point, that is how we protecting ourselves."

"If the city comes up with rules and then finds out it's in conflict with the state, we could have a problem," added Dave Campana, another city commissioner.

Other commissioners voted against the public meeting to allow the board another work session before they hear from the public.

"Give us more than one option for just opting out," said Sarah Reynold, the Mayor Pro Tem. "I am not going to vote for a public hearing, I want it to go back to a work session and then eventually more public input."

Whether or not the city decides to prohibit the establishments of marijuana in Marquette, it will not impact the personal use.

It will still be legal for anyone over the age of 21 to grow and smoke marijuana.

"The public hearing is not about making a decision, it’s about its about how we are going to begin to take the next step forward,: said Hill.

The city encourages all with input to come out the public hearing on February 25th at 6 pm.