May 3, 2022
To: The Residents of the City of Perry
This communication is to make you aware that an outside organization, Shiawassee Cares Coalition, is taking steps to circulate a petition for another proposal on the November 2022 election ballot regarding the City’s medical marihuana regulations.
We want to ensure that all of you are aware of the City’s recent history and current status on this topic.
As many of you know, in November of 2021, the Shiawassee Cares Coalition was successful in having a medical marihuana proposal to amend the City of Perry’s charter placed on the ballot. The actual ballot proposal read as follows:
“This proposed charter amendment, if adopted, would assist patients in need of medical marihuana for conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, colitis, arthritis, crohn’s disease, cerebral palsy, chronic pain, parkinson’s disease, post traumatic stress disorder and other medical conditions for which marihuana is an approved medical use by the State of Michigan, end the City’s prohibition of medical marihuana facilities, and create a City Department of Medical Marihuana responsible for overseeing the local regulatory structure for such facilities.”
The proposal passed with: 230 – Yes 222 – No
The actual charter amendment details authorized multiple medical marihuana facilities (8) within the City of Perry. (1) Marihuana Safety Compliance Facility; (1) Marihuana Secure Transporter; (2) Marihuana Provisioning Centers – Dispensary; (1) Class A (500 Plants) Marihuana Grower; (1) Class B (1000 Plants) Marihuana Grower; (1 ) Class C (1500 Plants) Marihuana Grower. It also defined a number of other specific requirements and timelines for the City that would place an undue burden on a city of our size.
To quote Leslie Abdoo in the March/April 2022 magazine; The Review, “One of the biggest challenges facing Michigan cities and villages as it relates to marihuana regulation is the newest wave of ballot initiatives sweeping across the state. In both the 2020 and 2021 November election cycles, nearly identical petitions were filed in small communities across the state. The newest petitions have largely involved charter amendments under the Home Rule City Act which have raised many questions regarding the appropriate process for placing these amendments on the ballot. Many charter amendment petitions, particularly targeting small communities, have very similar language and provisions.
After significant review and advice by legal counsel, the Perry City Council voted to challenge the legality of the charter amendment. (The results of that legal challenge are pending). However, given that the medical marihuana vote was positive and the fact that the City of Perry residents supported two prior Michigan marihuana ballot proposals in 2008 and 2018, the Council voted to develop and adopt the necessary medical marihuana ordinance(s) to allow for one (1) medical marihuana provisioning center (dispensary) within the City. Those ordinances (360 & 361) have now been completed and approved by the City Council. The approach by the Perry City Council is a gradual one, starting with one medical marihuana dispensary license being awarded via lottery involving all qualified applicants. This approach will allow the administrative burden of handling applications to be limited to an amount we can process properly. The risk of future lawsuits created by subjective scoring processes would be lessened. Management of this type will prevent the process from being crippling for a city of our size.
We ask that you support our efforts to do what we believe is in the best interest of the City and its residents and not allow our City to be “controlled” by an outside interest group. We encourage you NOT to support the petition to rescind our new medical marihuana ordinances.
Mayor Sue Hammond
Mayor Pro-Tem Larry Lambert Council Mindy Galbavi
Council Bob Porter Council Steve Wallace
Council Mike Connell Council Chad Fuller