Marijuana growing and processing facilities could soon be coming to Charlotte

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CHARLOTTE, Mich. — Charlotte's City Council has decided that they're not going to allow marijuana shops in the city anytime soon, but the community could see marijuana growing and processing facilities.

On average, each dispensary brings in about $28,000 in tax revenues to a community according to Mayor Michael Armitage. City officials didn't move forward with dispensaries because they didn't believe those revenues would offset the administrative burden, he said.

"Doing a dispensary program is going to bring in a lot of administrative work. There are a lot of requirements that the city would have to follow by state law to be able to enact such a program," Armitage said. "And right now, we're having a hard time keeping City Hall open five days a week."

Councilman Branden Dyer wanted to see dispensaries.

"I mean at a future date, and if there's a council that is interested in it, we can explore it. And if citizens want to, citizens can petition for a ballot initiative. So, you know it's not dead in the water, but, at this point, I want to move forward with exploring manufacturing," Dyer said.

The council decided to move forward with facilities for growing and processing marijuana.

"We get inquires at City Hall quite frequently about if we allow those type of businesses. More so than we do dispensaries," Armitage said. "And that was also a part of the council's decision-making, too, is it seems like the demand right now in Charlotte, at least, is for those types of facilities.

Dyer thinks the manufacturing facilities are a unique opportunity and a good way to have something other communities can't offer.

He thinks it will help the city because, "we have some vacant land in our industrial park and a couple areas around the city that can be turned into more productive use. And then that can bring you know jobs into the city."

The facilities would have to be located within industrial zones. Armitage said it's hard to estimate how much money it would bring because it will depend on things like whether the companies would build new facilities or reuse existing buildings.

An ordinance would have to be passed to allow the facilities in. Any ordinance takes two presentations before the council and a public hearing.

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