Cassopolis council revisits marijuana ordinances

CASSOPOLIS — The village of Cassopolis took another look at its stance on marijuana, both recreational and medicinal, via a Zoom meeting.

At its regularly scheduled meeting Monday night, the village council approved the rescinding of Resolution 2019-5, which stated that the village would not allow recreational use of marijuana. It approved ordinances 263 and 264, which describe where and how many recreational businesses it will allow within the village limits.

“The planning commission was really conservative in their recommendation to the council,” said Cassopolis Village Manager Emilie Sarratore. “I thought they did a really good job. They kept the same zoning they spent all that time on for medical. They only opened up one, two or zero permits. They were pretty conservative. They recognized that if it was something they wanted to move forward with that if we wanted a bigger outfit to come in, we were going to need both of those.”

The council also approved the 2020-21 budget of just over $7.1 million.

“It is a big number because it includes a lot of our project numbers,” Sarratore said.

In other action, the council approved a resolution regarding its industrial park.

Sarratore said that a company is looking at the Cassopolis Industrial Park as the site for a potential $3 million project.

“They have narrowed it down to us and another place,” she said. “So, basically what this is, is a commitment by the village that for a $3 million project we would give 15 acres of property for them to build on out there. Part of that requirement is to put $50,000 in escrow to make sure the project goes through, and if it doesn’t, we have some recourse.”

By approving the resolution, the council gave Sarratore the ability to make the agreement if the company does choose Cassopolis.

Also approved was a recommendation for a liquor license approval by Stone Lake, LCC. It is seeking a license for the Holden Green Tavern building.

“Clearly, we do not have any adult beverage locations in the village that are operating right now,” Sarratore said. “The owners of what used to be Holden Green downtown are looking to have a license under the Redevelopment District licenses that can be offered by the state. So, it is a different way to go about getting a license based on the investment into the community over the past five years.”

Sarratore said owners Steve and Schelley Schroeder have spent the past year working through the process and are close to completing it.

“The village council can’t approve a liquor license,” she said. “All they can do is give their support of it from the community side. That is one of the requirements they have to have to make [in] their actual application to the state. This is just us saying we are in favor of it, and you have our support.”

The next village council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 22. The council is hoping that the meeting will be open to the public and no longer on Zoom.