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Monday, March 18,2013

Moratorium changes

The City Council will vote tonight on a revised list of medical marijuana businesses that can operate in Lansing during the six-month moratorium. One business threatens to go to court if it is excluded.

by Andy Balaskovitz

Monday, April 18 — One medical marijuana dispensary out of nearly 40 operating in Lansing may have to shut down if the City Council approves amendments to the city’s medical marijuana moratorium at tonight’s meeting.


The Michigan Medical Marijuana Club, 6046 S. Cedar St., is not included in a revised list of businesses allowed to operate in the city. Club President Todd Holforty has said that’s because the shop changed addresses after the original moratorium took effect Dec. 6. It was listed in the original moratorium at 3203 N. East St.



City Attorney Brig Smith has said that once the Council approved the moratorium in December, the 67 addresses “grandfathered” in had to stay put until the Council adopted a permanent regulation ordinance. However, Holforty has said that he moved shortly after the moratorium took effect because of problems he was having with his landlord. Holforty said City Clerk Chris Swope gave him permission to do so at the time, though Swope now agrees with Smith.



Holforty has said that, if it comes to it, he will take his case to court. The club describes itself as “nonprofit club supported by volunteers who advocate, assist, and help educate our community about Michigan medical cannabis.”


The Council is revising the temporary moratorium — which expires July 1 — because some of the original 67 addresses grandfathered in were in residential areas. The city also sent out mailings to every address in February seeking more information beyond a business name and address. Those who did not respond to the mailing were assumed to be non-existent.


City Pulse reported last month that four businesses known to be in operation were not included in a draft of the revised list: the Michigan Medical Marijuana Club, S S Collectives at 1242 E. Grand River Ave., Grand River Alternative Medical Services (GRAMS) at 711 E. Grand River Ave. and Relief Choices of Lansing at 2617 E. Michigan Ave. Of those four, S S was the only business not included on the original list.


S S has closed. GRAMS and Relief Choices have since responded to the city’s request for more information and are included in the revised list of businesses allowed to operate during the moratorium. The revised list includes 45 businesses.


In budget business, the Council will hold a question and answer session tonight on Mayor Virg Bernero’s proposed budget.

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