PETOSKEY — Petitioners have filed in hope of placing a recreational marijuana proposal on Petoskey’s November ballots, but have come up short of valid signatures on their first attempt.
On Monday, the city received 74 pages worth of petitions containing a reported 550 signatures seeking to amend the city’s marijuana ordinance with language that allows for recreational marijuana facilities, city clerk Al Terry said. The current city policy, which city council passed and voters affirmed in 2019, only allows for medical marijuana provisioning centers, and only within a narrow set of parameters.
But the clerk’s office was only able to verify 437 signatures, falling short of the 528 required based on city code, Terry said Wednesday.
Proponents will have until Aug. 10, 10 business days from the original deadline, to obtain at least 91 more valid signatures.
If the proposal appears on the ballot, voters would be asked if they want to amend the existing portions of the city’s marijuana ordinance to “regulate the sale of marihuana,” to “allow certain types of marihuana facilities to operate” based on the state’s voter-approved marijuana act from 2018, and to “provide for standards and procedures to permit and regulate such establishments.”
Based on the full text of the proposed amendment, those standards and procedures follow much of the same framework as the ordinance which the city council and planning commission drafted more than two years ago.
Those rules allow up to three medical marijuana provisioning centers in certain sections of the city. The primary notable change in the new language adds a second category under the “authorized facilities” section — that of a marijuana “retail establishment.” Retailers, as defined in Michigan law, are distinct from provisioning centers, which are only permitted to sell marijuana to registered, qualifying patients.
Retailers, on the other hand, are given the broader permission to sell marijuana to people over the age of 18.
Like provisioning centers, there would be a limit of three retailers within city limits under the proposed ballot amendment.
A retailer for recreational marijuana, Lume Cannabis Co., does have a location just northeast of the city limits in Bear Creek Township. However, it is located on Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians trust land, and is neither subject to the marijuana ordinances in place in Petoskey, nor Bear Creek Township, the latter of which has opted out of marijuana-related businesses entirely.