What does legalization of weed mean?

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What does legalization of weed mean?

Lea

Lea

Lea

Hannah Blazina, Staff Writer

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The time has come when Michigan has started to approve businesses for selling recreational marijuana licenses. Communities had until November 1 to opt out of the law. 

 

According to MLive.com, over 1,000 towns have opted out of the law, which means around 4.7 million people are going to be living in an area where weed is still not allowed. St. Joseph is included in the towns opting out. However, some of those areas are temporarily opting out until they can see how businesses will operate in other towns before allowing it. Others towns simply aren’t interested in having dispensaries. 

“We unanimously agreed to opt out of allowing sales because at the time (and actually since) there wasn’t yet assistance on how to regulate the sales of marijuana.  We needed to know what the rules would be, how the recommended zoning would go (we wouldn’t want sales to be next to schools as an example). We decided to hit pause on sales in the City of St. Joseph so that we could decide if or how we would want to allow in the future,” Mrs. Laura Goos, St. Joseph City Council member said.

 

On Friday, November 1, the Marijuana Regulatory Agency, or MRA, had begun accepting applications for licenses to sell weed. When the state receives an application, they have 90 days to review it and decide whether to accept or decline. As of December 1, six dispensaries, mainly located in northern and eastern Michigan, have opened. 

 

Eventually, people will be able to have recreational marijuana delivered to their door, similar to how medical marijuana can be delivered. However, drive thru and mobile shops and mailing marijuana have been banned by the state.

 

The recreational marijuana market is projected to be making $1 billion dollars a year by the beginning of the fiscal year of 2021, which begins October 1, 2021 and ends September 22, 2022. This should greatly boost Michigan’s economy.

 

According to MLive.com, many of the communities who have opted in have said that providing a legal business for marijuana would allow people to buy marijuana in a safe place, where it is regulated, as opposed to the black market. There have been cases where marijuana has been laced with stronger and deadly drugs—the hope is this would not happen in a licensed store. Many people also point out it could be a benefit to the economy, but others think it wouldn’t help the town.

 

“I’ve heard people complain that we are turning our backs on additional tax income but we don’t get sales tax.  The only thing the City gets is Property Taxes and this law or even having the shops wouldn’t effect that income.  In terms of convenience, residents can shop in Benton Harbor or one of the other areas that allow shops,” Mrs. Goos said.

 

No one is entirely sure how this will impact communities or how much it will impact the economy, but we’ll find out in the next couple of years. The legalization of marijuana has been a largely talked about topic for years—and will most likely be talked about for years to come.