Application process underway for marijuana businesses in Edwardsburg

EDWARDSBURG — Marijuana businesses are blazing forward in the village of Edwardsburg.

Monday, the application period began for medical and recreational marijuana licenses within village limits. The move comes after the village council voted last month to approve an ordinance allowing marijuana facilities.

The village’s law provides for two marijuana facilities to operate on M-62 or US-12 east of M-62 within the village limits. The facilities are allowed to hold multiple licenses, which include provisioning, growing, micro-business, transporting, processing, safety compliance and retailer.

“The purpose of this article is to regulate the sale of marihuana in the village in order to promote the public health, safety, morals, and welfare of the community, and establishing standards and procedures consistent with the [Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act] and the [Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act] in order to allow a limited number of marihuana establishments in the village,” the ordinance states.

So far, Edwardsburg Village Council President Scott Mackling said he has primarily heard from residents who are in favor of the ordinance.

“[In the November 2018] election, Edwardsburg, Ontwa Township and Cass County all voted for [marijuana],” Mackling said. “This is something the other communities around us are doing, and this is a legal business now. I don’t see it a lot different than alcohol.”

With the application process underway, Mackling said he is hopeful the marijuana businesses will be able to fill some of the vacant buildings in Edwardsburg’s M-62 corridor and provide a boost to the economy of the area.

“We have vacant properties that have been vacant for years, and if we can get them to renovate those buildings, that benefits the village,” he said. “There is tax income there. Anytime a new business comes into town, the other businesses get traffic, from gas stations to restaurants.”

As of press time Wednesday, only one marijuana business had applied for a license, NoBo, which has a facility in Benton Harbor. Despite this, Village Clerk Paula Ralph said she had received several phone calls and questions from businesses looking to locate to the area.

“There is some serious interest,” Ralph said. “I’ve had at least six or seven businesses that are definitely interested call with serious inquiries.”

The application period will last until May 8. Though Mackling said he could not guarantee a specific timeline, the village council hopes to approve the two business licenses during the village council’s May 18 meeting.

“After that, it is up to approved businesses how fast they can get everything up and running,” Mackling said.

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