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Lansing prepares for recreational marijuana retail

Posted at 8:49 PM, Dec 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 06:41:46-05

LANSING, Mich. — Michiganders spent $221,000 at three dispensaries on the first day of recreational marijuana sales in the state.

Now, as Lansing is gearing up for their own adult-use retail sales, a new business is under construction with hopes of becoming one of the dispensaries approved.

Skymint on Cedar Street in south Lansing is just one of the company’s many medical marijuana dispensaries under construction. Four buildings are already open. The company plans to apply for a license to sell recreational marijuana when Lansing’s application process opens up on Dec. 23.

The possibility doesn’t bother Toni Hurl, who’s lived in the area for 20 years.

"Well, I've just seen it coming. I've seen more and more people smoking it. Not thinking that there's anything wrong with it," said Hurl.

Hurl’s neighbor Victor Allen agreed.

“It's not that it's a bad thing. It's more that the community needs to accept that this is actually going to take over. This is something that's going to be normal for a lot of communities. It's going to help Lansing's revenue, a lot more money, a lot more jobs, hopefully the businesses will thrive off this too,” said Allen.

Lansing’s application for adult-use retail sales closes on Jan. 21. To start, the city of Lansing will only accept applications from businesses already approved to sell medical marijuana. But, City Clerk Chris Swope says it’s only a matter of time before people are able to buy in the city.

"I've said this for years that I think marijuana should be well-regulated and available and it's what the voters support. I think they do want to make sure that it's safe and that it doesn’t cause their neighborhoods to be less safe. But I think that people realize that this is the direction of the country,” said Swope.

Swope expects sales to start by June 2020.

East Lansing is also preparing for adult-use retail sales. Their application opened late October and there is no close date. However, only the five businesses already approved to sell medical marijuana in the city can apply.

"Certainly our voters support it. Our city council supports it, but we're kind of taking a slow approach to permit them to see what they're like and what the effects on the city might be," said David Haywood, East Lansing Planning and Zoning Administrator.

The city of Jackson will allow both medical and recreational marijuana businesses in the city. They are currently taking applications and hope to see those businesses open in 2021. The last day for adult-use applications is 5 p.m. on Monday.

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