Top story No. 1: Marijuana businesses spark debate – News – Monroe News – Monroe, Michigan

The following was voted by The Monroe News staff as among the Top 10 local, non-COVID-19 news stories of the year.

A budding industry in Monroe County lit a fire as tensions mounted between Monroe Charter Township officials and the municipality’s residents.

Earlier this year, the township rolled out an ordinance regulating recreational marijuana businesses in the township. In 2018, a statewide voter referendum legalized recreational cannabis, but also gave local governments the chance to opt out of licensing such businesses within their bounds.

The township’s ordinance required potential businesses submit an application, site plan and a nonrefundable $5,000 fee. It also outlined additional requirements, including limits on how close such businesses could be to one another as well as churches, schools, daycares and other venues.

More than a dozen businesses — including some owned by community members and others from throughout the state — expressed interest, with the first slate of applications to be reviewed in October at the township’s Planning Commission’s monthly meeting.

Several dozen community members and leaders attended the meeting, decrying recreational marijuana and criticizing the township for opting into the industry.

Some residents were especially concerned about the potential businesses setting up shop in residential neighborhoods, with…

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The following was voted by The Monroe News staff as among the Top 10 local, non-COVID-19 news stories of the year.

A budding industry in Monroe County lit a fire as tensions mounted between Monroe Charter Township officials and the municipality’s residents.

Earlier this year, the township rolled out an ordinance regulating recreational marijuana businesses in the township. In 2018, a statewide voter referendum legalized recreational cannabis, but also gave local governments the chance to opt out of licensing such businesses within their bounds.

The township’s ordinance required potential businesses submit an application, site plan and a nonrefundable $5,000 fee. It also outlined additional requirements, including limits on how close such businesses could be to one another as well as churches, schools, daycares and other venues.

More than a dozen businesses — including some owned by community members and others from throughout the state — expressed interest, with the first slate of applications to be reviewed in October at the township’s Planning Commission’s monthly meeting.

Several dozen community members and leaders attended the meeting, decrying recreational marijuana and criticizing the township for opting into the industry.

Some residents were especially concerned about the potential businesses setting up shop in residential neighborhoods, with…

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