Ann Arbor Delays Medical Marijuana Votes

At its April 19, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council postponed votes on both the zoning and licensing ordinances that were before the body for their final votes. The number of amendments that had been proposed by councilmembers and the city attorney’s office as late as the afternoon of April 19 led the council to delay the votes on both measures until May 2. If proposed amendments are passed on May 2, it would likely reset both ordinances to their first reading, which would require that they receive an additional second reading.

The medical marijuana zoning ordinance received its initial approval by the council at its Oct. 18, 2010 meeting.

The delay since the initial Oct. 18, 2010 zoning vote stems from the city of Ann Arbor’s strategy in legislating zoning and licensing of medical marijuana businesses – that strategy has been to bring both licensing and zoning before the city council at the same time for a final vote.

The context for development of zoning regulations was set at the council’s Aug. 5, 2010 meeting, when councilmembers voted to impose a moratorium on the use of property in the city for medical marijuana dispensaries or cultivation facilities. The council also directed the city’s planning commission to develop zoning regulations for medical marijuana businesses.

Subsequently, the city attorney’s office also began working on a licensing system. The council undertook several amendments to the licensing proposal at four of its meetings over the last three months: on Jan. 3Feb. 7March 7 and March 21. The council finally gave initial approval to the licensing proposal at its March 21 meeting. [.pdf of Michigan Medical Marijuana Act]

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]