Despite passing an ordinance allowing medical marijuana dispensaries, officers from the City of Flint visited those Centers this week in an effort to get distribution centers to comply with the letter of the new law. Some business owners are crying foul, some are quietly complying, and at least one owner has put his foot directly into his mouth.
Flint’s ordinance was passed in 2014 and allows for the operation of centers designed to distribute medical marijuana to state-registered patients who carry valid identification cards. Initially a special land use permit was granted to existing centers, a permit that establishes the right to begin the process of applying to the city for proper permits and employee background checks.
Apparently some of the centers stopped working with the city after the permits were issued. On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, city officials visited centers and gave warnings for non-compliance-some verbal, some more prominent.
Several centers received a yellow tag on their door, indicating the business was not in compliance with codes or zoning requirements. The issue is a civil one, not criminal, and there were no reported arrests or raids associated with this action by city officials.
Some centers closed down temporarily, some never closed for a moment and others are cautiously resuming operations that do not violate the city’s codes. Business owners and operators cite a concern for the safety of their patients and the caregivers that operate the centers.
Media has been busy reporting on the issue in the Vehicle City. Television stations like TV 25 and news media including the MLive Media Group have published or broadcast stories highlighting the struggle.
During one of those stories, dispensary owner Ben Horner made statements of dismay at the other business owners who he claimed let down the medical marijuana community by not completing the process with the city. Ironically, just hours after blasting other business owners, an article in Hybrid.life magazine’s online edition included a picture showing Horner’s dispensary with one of those telltale yellow tags on its front door, making Horner eat his words in a very public way.
Center owners that have tried to submit paperwork to the city for the purpose of compliance almost universally report a slowdown in the progress of their application. One center near Saginaw Street in Flint, who wished to remain anonymous, cited confusion on the part of the city’s police department in processing applications.
Source: The Compassion Chronicles