January 18, 2018
Stanton’s City Commission met Tuesday evening, the 9th, with marihuana dispensaries on the agenda.
With Mayor Ken Barris leading the meeting, Diane Loyal began with her comments that users should not have travel so far to get their medications. Tim Rau, a Montcalm Township board member, was the next to speak; questioning what local governmental entities would actually receive from the sales made in dispensaries. Previously announced numbers were statewide estimates.
John Kronrvk, a Licensed Professional Counselor and County Coordinator for Montcalm County’s Health Promotion agency, called “Cherry Health,” was placed on the agenda ahead of the commission’s discussion of the subject.
The beginning part of his presentation referenced Michigan Law that is “the foundation, but the rules are the structure, and they are changing.”
Kronrvk said he has interest from a “family perspective” and is cooperating with the Michigan Prevention Collaborative. His presentation included statistics from Colorado that when marihuana was available legally, that use by youth, under 21, went up, along with traffic fatalities, emergency calls, and heroin and opioid use. He told the Commission that 85.2-percent of the treatment issues with drugs among 11th graders, was marihuana. He then disclosed “pot” use in Montcalm County is 18.9 percent in the same class. “We’re setting the stage and environment for our kids.”
“It’s not a natural plant anymore,” Kronrvk said, “THC levels are intentionally much higher.” On the cost, he said, “For every dollar received in taxes and fees, $10 in social costs are realized.” The effective ingredients, THC and CBD are different, with CBD (cannabidiol), the user does not get high.” He added, “if we use something in a medicinal way, we have to be careful what we’re doing. This is not a benign substance — it makes changes.”
Commissioner John Seaman challenged Kronrvk on several points he made, and appeared to be positive about dispensaries in Stanton.
“There’s no rush to establish a medical-marihuana business,” Kronrvk continued. “We don’t know what the Federal Government is going to do about enforcing their law. It’s an unknown.”
It was difficult to read how the commission was leaning, however, a location was mentioned as a potential dispensary location, 207 E. Main. The commission was reminded of rules about locations, that they had to be one-thousand feet from certain facilities, such as schools, churches, day-care centers and the like. The inference was that the site did not qualify under law.
Commissioner Karl Yoder questioned the return versus cost to society of opting in on licensing dispensaries, a question that should be answered.
No decision was made by Stanton’s Commission, but they did vote to reinvest Certificates of Deposit with a bank at .4-percent interest, with reserves at $700,000.
Stanton’s Commission will be continuing the discussion, although the mayor did not seem to be encouraging it.