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As Michigan Supreme Court Says No to Dispensaries, New Baltimore Examines Medical Pot Ordinance

The much debated medical marijuana issue is going back to the planning commission.

New Baltimore will re-examine its highly debated medical marijuana ordinance after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled Friday against dispensaries.

The city has not decided whether it will redraft its ordinance that allows dispensaries in the industrial district. That document is slated to go back to the planning commission for language updates and amendment suggestions by the city attorney, Clerk Marcia Shinska said Friday.

But the recent court ruling will be considered during the process, she said.

The council majority voted last December in favor of a medical marijuana dispensary moratorium from January until March 1. The moratorium, which has been extended multiple times, allowed for the city to get the dispensary ordinance in place.

When council passed it at the time, the dispensary ordinance said that medical marijuana establishments cannot be within 1,200 feet of primary or secondary schools in the city and must be on industrial land.

"I am glad that we have taken the first step," Councilman Karl Rutledge said then. "Now we have guidelines in place. It's very difficult to tell a business owner who you can and can't sell your property to."

City Attorney Jack Dolan could not immediately be reached for comment Friday to discuss how the community would proceed in light of the state court's ruling to ban dispensaries.

In neighboring Chesterfield Township, the township took Big Daddy's Hydroponics to court--in a case that drew support from the Michigan Attorney General's Office. The dispensary eventually vacated the spacious building on Gratiot and has since expressed interest in relocating to New Baltimore.

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