By ZEINAB NAJM
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW — The City Council unanimously voted to create an ad hoc committee to further study the possibility of establishing marijuana businesses in the city.
A previous meeting agenda said the topics the committee would consider include the types of businesses permitted, the locations for these types, zoning and city ordinances that would need to be drafted, and fees. Also, the advisory committee would receive information then evaluate and make recommendation to the council.
“I think that committee can look forward to getting organized pretty soon and get started,” Mayor Andrew Swift said after the vote.
Several discussions were had by the council and administrative staff on April 11 and May 9 before the resolution for the committee was passed during the May 16 meeting.
The resolution was drafted by City Attorney Randy Pentiuk based on the council’s comments.
At the May 9 study session, Swift and council members each offered suggestions as to who should be on the committee, mentioning the possibility of residents, three council members, the police chief, a school district trustee, a representative from Beaumont Health or Henry Ford Hospital, business community leaders, city attorney, and a Guidance Center representative.
The three city council member names mentioned at the study session were Lynn Blanchette, Sussie O’Neil and Chuck Norton.
Swift also said he liked that idea and said more discussions will take place on getting started with the core of the committee, which would have the three council members, City Manager Douglas Drysdale, Community Development Director David Scurto, the police chief, and Pentiuk.
The Police Department, city assessor and Community Development Department researched how cities regulate the different types of marijuana use as allowed under state legislation, the study session agenda said.
Scurto said that during the research, he discovered there are a number of operations the council should consider as it moves forward. Those included the number of grow facilities, processing a hybrid micro business, provisioning center, and designated consumption establishment.
Another topic addressed at the study session was the financial aspect and what money would be raised for the city. Drysdale explained that through licensing, the city could charge up $5,000 per state statute, for each license with an annual renewal.
Facilities could have more than one license, with retail allowed medical and recreational licenses. Also, growing facilities could have up to four licenses with a limit on how many plants they could grow for each license depending on classification, Drysdale said.
Revenue for the city could also come from annual inspection fees which would be when the building department, police and fire make sure security plans for the establishments were up to date and up to code.
To watch the city council meetings and study sessions go to https://cityofriverview.viebit.com.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)