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Ironwood City Commission Approves Retail Marijuana Ordinance


A limited number of marijuana businesses will be able to open up shop in Ironwood.

The city recently passed an ordinance outlining what the marijuana industry could look like in the city.

Michigan legalized recreational cannabis in November 2018.

In the nearly two years since then, the City of Ironwood has been working on a marijuana business ordinance.

It’s gone through multiple committees, public hearings, and city commission votes.  The city commission approved the ordinance to allow a limited number of marijuana businesses to operate within the city limits.

“The thing with the ordinance is it was specific to commercial uses. It was addressing things that were heavily regulated by the state as well as by the city through this ordinance,” said Ironwood Community Development Director Tom Bergman.  “I think the biggest concerns were things like not having these establishments close to schools or churches or parks, things like that.”

There will be a limited number of licenses available. The ordinance does not go into effect until November 9th, which means applications won’t be ready until after that.

Bergman said the city has already been getting calls from interested people.

“We ask for people’s patience because there is going to be a lot of demand and a lot of information that we’re going to have to go over,” said Bergman. “This won’t be something where we flip the switch and there will be establishments opening in our community. It’s going to take some time. Not only to develop the application and the procedures, but then also to review those applications and make a determination of who will get a license.”

A Michigan State University study estimates the level of retail sales in Michigan will be about $3 billion once it becomes widely available. The same study puts the total economic impact of marijuana retail sales in excess of $7.8 billion.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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