The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Turkal advises marijuana changes be studied closely



Bessemer — All municipalities in Gogebic County should prepare for Michigan’s marijuana law changes, the county board of commissioners was told Wednesday.

John Turkal, city of Bessemer Planning Commission chairman, addressed the county board on the changes that will take effect next December.

“This is not just for Bessemer, this is for every town and city in the county,” he said.

Several businesses have submitted letters to Bessemer officials expressing interest in locating commercial marijuana-growing facilities in the city. They are requesting the city council adopt an ordinance to allow them to do so.

The towns and cities will have the authority to adopt ordinances to allow various types of commercial facilities and authorize where they may operate.

“This doesn’t get rid of the old law,” Turkal said. “It remains in force.”

He advised all county and municipal officials to read the 19 pages of the new law closely before December.

The county would get a certain percentage of the sales tax derived by a marijuana facility, but Turkal said it could pose an additional burden on the sheriff’s department or state police.

Also, there would be several fees involved with a marijuana facility, such as for processing, retail, land transportation and warehousing.

“This is significant legislation,” Turkal said. “It affects everyone.”

The good news is area officials will have several months to consider the changes and they will be addressed throughout 2017.


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