State-regulated medical marijuana businesses are on the horizon for Southwest Michigan
Niles City Council voted Monday in favor of a resolution that states the intent to adopt three medical marijuana laws passed by state legislators last year.
More details, including the quantity and location of the businesses will be discussed at a Niles city plan commission meeting April 11.
Supporters of marijuana dispensaries hope legalization will spur a local economy boost, by creating more jobs and providing easier access for people with health problems.
"I think there are some genuine needs," Councilman John DiCostanzo said. "I think, most of all, this is an opportunity to take this substance, which has been a black-market substance for a long time, and bring it out into the open."
Niles police chief James Millin said the businesses could “invite theft” and that medical marijuana cards are “relatively easy to obtain.”
Medical marijuana shops could open in Niles, immediately after their owners obtain licenses, which are likely to be issued by December.
Michigan voters approved marijuana use in 2008 for some chronic medical conditions. Medical marijuana is currently a $700 million industry in Michigan.