07/09/2020- It took nearly two hours of discussion Wednesday, but Menominee is another step closer to legalizing the sale of marijuana within the city. The council met as a committee of the whole to review a draft ordinance which would provide the framework for permitting both medical provisioning centers and recreational retail establishments. Council members debated several aspects of the ordinance, including zoning regulations and exactly which types and how many licenses to allow. City Attorney Mike Celello agreed with a proposed amendment to make the selection process for prospective business owners a competitive one, saying a merit-based system will likely better serve the city.

Also discussed was the extent to which City Council itself would be involved in deciding who does or does not get permitted. While some council members felt the board should have a more active role in the decision-making process, Celello cautioned against that sort of involvement.

It was noted that marijuana growing and retail operations have already expressed interest in locating in Menominee, but are waiting on the passage of an official ordinance allowing that sort of activity. The City Manager and City Attorney will incorporate Council’s input into a final draft of the permitting ordinance and bring that back to another Committee of the Whole meeting. That ordinance will need to go to a public hearing and receive final approval from the Judicial and Legislative/Personnel and Labor Committee and the full City Council.