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Buchanan divided ahead of vote for location of medical marijuana dispensary

BUCHANAN, MI. -- At 7 p.m., the city of Buchanan will vote on where its first medical marijuana dispensary will open.  Similar discussions are being held in Niles and Galien. 

The proposed dispensary, would be right in the middle of downtown Buchanan, in the old Hometown Video building.

Some people are not happy that the building is right across the street from the library, where a lot of kids tend to gather.

"There's a lot of children around that area, and I just don't feel like it's an appropriate place," says Sandy Huyvaert.

Huyvaert owns Sandy's Floral Boutique, which is right next to the old Hometown Video building.

She believes that putting the dispensary there, isn't a good idea.

Huyvaert isn't the only one opposing the change, from having the dispensary uptown, to moving it downtown. 

At the public meeting, she plans on fighting it.

"I will be presenting a petition that I've had some business owners sign, [saying] that they did not want it downtown," she explains. "There were 21 business owners that signed."

But Alan Robandt also is prepared for the meeting.

He owns the antique,vintage,and modern furniture store, on the main stretch of downtown.

He's quite vocal about his support of the dispensary. 

"Everyone I know, wants it," he says. "We all see it as a huge boost for economic development in Buchanan."

Development that Robandt says, couldn't happen if the dispensary moved in, away from the local businesses.

"McDonalds and Pizza Hut, and the dollar store? They just suck money out of the town. We have a very, very viable group that wants to move downtown," he explains. 

He believes, the corner of Front Street and Days Avenue, is the perfect location, despite the younger crowd that hangs around there. 

"It's a medical model. It's not a pot shop, or bong shop," he adds. "It's what we need."

But now with the new outcry and a ticking clock, no one is quite sure what will happen.

"We live in a democracy and everybody should have their voices heard," says Huyvaert.

"It's a wild card," says Robant. "We're all on pins and needles." 

ABC57 will be inside the meeting, for the decision, and will follow this story as it continues to develop. 

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