MONTPELIER — The Montpelier Village Council is talking about whether they want to allow a medicinal marijuana dispensary in the village, though there is no one is currently looking to put one there.
Village Manager Jason Rockey said Megan Hausch, executive director of the Williams County Economic Development Corporation, asked if the council would be interested in possibly having a medicinal marijuana dispensary in town.
During Monday night’s council meeting, Rockey said he expected the dispensaries would be heavily regulated, just like grow facilities are, and few dispensaries would be allowed in the state.
“It’s certainly not guaranteed and I think it’s probably unlikely a community like ours would be selected,” he said. “However, if there (are) any communities that don’t want to pursue that, Megan would like to be able to pass that on to the businesses that have inquired.”
Because of the way the village’s zoning ordinances are written, any dispensary that would open would be in the industrial park.
Councilman Don Schlosser said he remembered before he was on council when medical marijuana was first legalized and the council was discussing allowing a growing operation.
“A bunch of people came in who were opposed to it,” he said. “Just so you know, I’m opposed to it. I don’t think it’s what the community wants.”
Councilman Kevin Motter said he was opposed to “anything marijuana.”
Councilwoman Melissa Ewers was the sole member to come out in favor of it.
“It’s a medical dispensary, there’s benefits to it, there’s research on it,” she said. “With looking to the future, economically, if we’re given an opportunity to move forward we should do that as well as be more progressive and be an area that actually thinks of something a little different toward the future other than keeping the stigma.”
Councilman Nate Thompson said Reading, Michigan, has embraced marijuana, having three dispensaries in the city. The city’s reputation has taken a downturn.
Councilman Chris Kannel added the results were a mixed bag.
“Economically, it’s good for the community because there’s an enormous amount of investment,” he said. “However, the flip side of that is the stigma that goes along with it.”
Along with the stigma, Kannel said one dispensary is downtown and causes traffic problems.
Councilman Dan Willis asked if Rockey could get more information on why Hausch was asking about it. Rockey said he would send her the current ordinance and see if there is interest or if she is looking for “the general temperature” of the county.