Calumet approves medical marijuana ordinance

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Calumet village became the second municipality in the Copper Country to approve medical marijuana facilities at its regular meeting Tuesday, approving an ordinance drafted by Trustee Nathan Anderson (left). Trustee Jay Rowe is on the right.

CALUMET — Along with the city of Houghton, the village of Calumet became the second municipality in the Upper Peninsula to approve medical marijuana sales after a 5-1 vote to approve the Medical Marihuana Facilities Ordinance at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The four-page village ordinance, drafted in nine sections, states its purpose as to authorize and regulate medical marihuana facilities in the village, pursuant to state of Michigan Act 281 of 2016.

Trustee Nathan Anderson, who drafted the ordinance, introduced it at the regular March meeting, asking the other council members to review it for discussion during the April meeting.

Trustee Virginia Dwyer remained apprehensive in consideration of the passage of the recreational marijuana law, because she said, not many medical marijuana patients would register for cards if they could get recreational marijuana on the street.

“Why would somebody pay for the card when you don’t need the card anymore?” she asked.

Anderson, who is a medical marijuana provider, said there is a huge difference between recreational and medical marijuana, saying it is used differently, it is tested differently and the customers are different.

There is a large number of medical marijuana patients in the north end of the county and in Keweenaw County, said Trustee Roxanne King, and they must travel all the way to Houghton. Another issue influencing the creation of the ordinance was cost.

“I have a 94-year-old man, an 84-year-old woman, here in the village, who are subjected to the highest prices in Michigan, because we only have one (facility) in Houghton County,” Anderson said.

The council had voted in December 2017 to take no action on the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, which ultimately led to the closure of Zen Garden on Sixth Street.