Dozens pushing for Niles Charter Township board to vote yes on recreational marijuana enterprises

NOW: Dozens pushing for Niles Charter Township board to vote yes on recreational marijuana enterprises

NILES, Mich.--- Dozens of residents are pushing for Niles Charter Township board members to vote yes on allowing recreational marijuana businesses to open up in town.

One by one people rose up in a meeting at Niles Charter Township say why they believe the ordinance could change the scope of their town.

A common thread in the meeting was money. Some say medical marijuana patients already have to travel to get their prescriptions filled. Attendees said this is taking business outside the township.

Renae Johnson of Lush Lighting in Niles said, “they’re going to spend money here. They’re going to go to our local restaurants; you know we have a new hotel opening. They’re going to stay overnight to get the rest of their allotment.”

People in the meeting said if they choose to opt in vacant businesses along 11th Street in Niles can be filled; bringing in more money.

One woman who was sure she did not want the ordinances to pass said after the meeting she has more to think about after what she learned. She said crime is still a concern for her.

“I would like safety to be a bigger consideration than the money,” said Deborah Neilson. I didn’t feel like that was what happened at all.”

Lush Lighting owner Matt Johnson, said the opt in would provide marijuana regulations and protect people even more.

He said the results would include, a decrease in people buying off the street illegally and or growing it in their homes without proper care, causing safety hazards.

“We can offer an industry for them to move out of their home and into a legitimate business we can regulate it,” said Johnson.

Supporters said the 10% excise tax on future pot sales could go towards better education and fixing local roads.

A township board member told ABC57 that public safety is a concern and they need more time to make this decision. The next meeting is set for May 20, 2019.

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