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Flint Changes Course, Cites Medical Marijuana Dispensaries For Code Violations


flint michigan medical marijuanaDespite 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



About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.


  1. You are wacko, even in the world of religious fairy tales.
    Dear God, please protect me from your followers. Amen

  2. God, The Eternal Mother, and Jesus Christ, who is The King of Kings lives, God has given us agency, I believe that if a jail system in any state holds over 67,000 prisoners incarcerated on marijuana charges, that the people have chosen to smoke, and that we deserve rights to that agency. We are The Children Of Deities. Who funds the police force to impede any of our actions? I say let us experience being free, with recreational use, all throughout our cities, our countries, and the World. Who can dictate what a people chooses to do without the consent of any accused? Please recreationally legalize Marijuana, in all of the states, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

  3. Cities, counties and States use codes and zoning issues to stall or stop medical legalization. They will let business owners open then later hit them to drain their pocket books and fill theirs. If they stop them before they open it’s doesn’t hurt the owners as much. Also gives local law enforcement a chance to track their suppliers. A nearby community from where I live they allowed a dispensary to open in a near deserted industrial park. Over a mile from the nearest neighborhood. Then they raided his supplier and closed him using the excuse the neighborhood’s complained of unsavory stranger hanging about. Posing a danger the children and property. Law enforcement love using the “unsavory strangers” to add dread and fear to their side of the story to help keep public sentiment on their side. The fact that the industrial park had a 8 ft cyclone fence topped with barbed wire and only one entrance over a mile from any home never gets mentioned. Just the imminent danger it posed. The place was likely safest place in area with the constant law enforcement undercover vans and RV’s with blacked out windows in the parking lot. They weren’t the least bit subtle about their constant presence.

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