Benton Harbor officials looking into medical marijuana dispensaries

Benton Harbor officials looking into medical marijuana dispensaries.

People in Benton Harbor are weighing in on the possibility of medical marijuana in their city.

It joins a growing list of Michigan towns discussing the issue.

This wasn't as well-attended as some of the other city meetings.

About 10 people showed up. But that didn't keep them from asking questions.

Most people seemed okay with the idea. But they want to make sure there are proper regulations.

Just weeks after Niles passed a resolution to start medical marijuana businesses. Benton Harbor is now looking to do the same.

"Weighing and measuring the amount before we move forward zoning and OKing something like this, and actually getting the citizens input. A little disappointing that not many of them had shown up. But I talk to them all the time when I'm out and about. And it has great support,” said Benton Harbor Commissioner Mary Adams.

Michigan Law states only individuals who are issued a medical marijuana card can go inside the dispensary. There must be security at the business, and those who own the location must undergo intense background checks by the state.

If passed, James Duncan wants to see it benefit the schools and provide more jobs.

"I would like to see anything happen in Benton Harbor what would benefit the citizens, some business that would have our best interest in mind, and this seems to be one,” said Duncan.

Thomas Wright with Michigan Total Healing Center, co-owns facilities in Niles and Buchanan.

Now he's looking to Benton Harbor to help expand.

"Essentially, it's a lot of jobs in the community, decent paying jobs at that level of paying wages. It will help take up vacant buildings. Property values will go back up. There are a lot of benefits,” said Wright.

Adams wants the community to know these businesses are safe.

"Children don't go to purchase pharmaceuticals things at the pharmacy. And children will not be able to go to a medical dispensary to purchase or pick up anything either,” said Adams.

Benton Harbor must host two meetings before they can move forward. That next meeting will be held Wednesday.

There are already to people interested in starting businesses if this passes.

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