Just don't call it 'kush' -- Frankfort voters to weigh in on adult use marijuana

Oct. 22—FRANKFORT — Voters in Frankfort will weigh in on whether to allow a single recreational marijuana retailer within city limits, following a petition drive officials confirmed garnered enough signatures to qualify for the Nov. 8 ballot.

If passed, the petition effort would repeal a current marijuana prohibition, authorize local officials to regulate one state-licensed marijuana retailer and levy a final application fee not to exceed $4,900, records show.

These and other application and review requirements are spelled out in an ordinance which would go into effect if the ballot proposal is approved by voters.

A ballot committee, Benzie Cares Coalition, sponsored the petition drive and on Aug. 2, records show, submitted nine pages containing 33 signatures collected July 30 by paid circulators based in Warren and Oak Park.

Hannah Stocker, a downstate attorney listed as the contact for Benzie Cares Coalition, did not return a call or email seeking comment.

If passed, this would be the first time that marijuana could be sold legally in the city limits, records show.

That's because officials voted to opt out of sales of state-legalized medical marijuana when voters passed it in 2008, records show, and opted out of recreational sales when that passed by statewide voters in 2018.

Frankfort voters, according to data posted on the Michigan Secretary of State's website, approved statewide legalization of recreational marijuana by a narrow margin, 393 to 320.

The Frankfort proposal is for a one retailer only and would not include approvals for tertiary businesses such as marijuana grower, transporter or processor.

The proposal would also prohibit the licensed retailer from displaying, on the exterior of the business, the building sign or any business-related billboard, a green cross, an image of a marijuana plant or any part of the plant.

The approved retailer would also have to limit their public vocabulary, as displaying the word "marijuana," "marihuana," "cannabis," "dank," "pot," "kush," "weed," "THC" or "Mary Jane" wouldn't be allowed, the ordinance states.

In northern Michigan, recreational — also called "adult use" — marijuana proposals are also on the ballot in Petoskey; Gladwin County's Clement and Tobacco townships; Mecosta County's Wheatland Township; and Grand Traverse County's Green Lake Township, records show.

* In Petoskey, the proposal, if passed would allow for recreational retailers who obtain a permit and provide penalties for violations but does not specify a number of permits available.

* In Clement Township, the ordinance would allow up to two recreational retailers.

* In Green Lake Township, the ordinance would allow up to two marijuana retailers, and three each of growers, processors, secure transporters and safety compliance businesses.

* In Tobacco Township the ordinance would allow up to one grower, two processors, three retailers, four secure transporters and five safety compliance businesses.

* In Wheatland Township, the ordinance would allow up to two recreational retailers and two marijuana growers.