Norway narrows marijuana ordinance

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The Norway City Council on Monday struck growing facilities and microbusinesses from its ordinance allowing marijuana establishments within city limits.

Such operations will not be allowed in Norway to avoid odor issues, City Manager Ray Anderson told The Daily News.

The council requested the change at the June 7 meeting and can revisit the issue in the future if it wishes, Anderson said.

Because of the amendment, a resolution that would have defined the process for accepting, evaluating and approving applications for licenses to operate marijuana businesses was removed from Monday’s agenda, as it had several references to growing facilities and microbusinesses.

Additionally, the city needed more time to refine the rubric for evaluating the businesses, Anderson said.

While Michigan voters in 2018 approved recreational marijuana sales, Norway citizens voted against the move, 641 no to 541 yes. The council cited that opposition in passing an ordinance in December 2018 to forbid marijuana businesses in Norway.

But the council revisited its decision Dec. 7, with Mayor Candy Brew, council members Jeff Muraro and Scott Popp and former member Jeremy Oja voting to amend the ordinance.

The council adopted an ordinance allowing marijuana

facilities within city limits May 3 on a 4-1 vote, with member Bret Kraemer opposed.

In other business, the council:

— Had a first reading of an ordinance to regulate mobile food operations. The city does not have any specific regulations on operations such as food carts and trucks and intends to codify language on proper public policy and safety. Among other things, the ordinance states vendors must have a license to serve food. Licenses are approved by the city manager or designee by application. Applications will require paying a fee and providing information such as food products and preparation methods, hours of operation and proof of insurance.

— Amended the city zoning ordinance to update the definition of a bed and breakfast; define short-term rentals; give the zoning administrator authority to approve handicap or medically necessary structures that extend into a front yard; and add a 300-foot minimum setback from all school, day care, child care and park boundaries.

— Tabled resolutions on Norway’s operating and capital improvements budgets for fiscal year 2021, as Brew was not present to vote on the items.

— Updated a previous resolution in support of North Winds Distillery owner Chad Kay’s application for a distillery license. The new resolution includes language on a tasting room at the distillery, which Kay plans to open on the 700 block of Main Street.

— Authorized selling renewable energy credits to Escanaba for $37,500, or $2.50 per REC.

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