South Haven voters to decide on future of recreational marijuana businesses

Posted at 11:00 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 23:00:57-05

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. -- On Tuesday, voters will hit the polls for local elections, and in a handful of places they will have to make a decision when it comes to recreational marijuana.

Last November, voters legalized marijuana statewide, but local cities and townships can still opt-out from having marijuana businesses in their towns.

Over the last several months, hundreds of cities and towns in Michigan have opted-out, effectively banning recreational marijuana businesses.

Now cities like South Haven are asking residents what they want to do locally. "I think that’s just what city council wants to know, what do the people want to do," South Haven Assistant City Manager Kate Hosier said.

South Haven opted-out earlier this year, and, after a petition, a ballot question will ask voters on Tuesday if recreational marijuana establishments should be prohibited completely.

"The city has not opted into medical marijuana, which is a different statute: that is the MMFLA. The city has opted out of recreational facilities at this time, so this would be a continuation of what the city has already done."

If it passes, South Haven will likely not see pot shops anytime soon.

If it fails, the city could revisit its decision to opt-out earlier this year.

"If the proposition fails, it means the city council could do a number of things," Hosier added.

The South Haven Planning Commission is meeting on Thursday. On the agenda is a discussion on where medical or recreational marijuana businesses could potentially be located.