Grand Rapids: Marijuana Growers Will Be Home-Based Businesses


Photo: The Grand Rapids Press
An anonymous caregiver who grows medical marijuana for patients checks his garden. He has 22 plants of three varieties growing in his Grand Rapids basement. 

​Grand Rapids, Michigan city commissioners have decided on a homegrown approach to regulating medical marijuana.

Commissioners Tuesday decided to go ahead with zoning regulations that will treat medical marijuana growers, also known as caregivers, as home-based businesses, reports Jim Harger of The Grand Rapids Press.
Planning director Suzanne Schulz said the rules will allow medical marijuana growers to operate in a manner similar to music teachers or tax preparers.

Photo: The Grand Rapids Press
Grand Rapids City Planning Director Suzanne Schulz: “It’s not a big commercial opportunity”

​The zoning ordinance given preliminary approval Tuesday requires caregivers to get a city business license. It also requires inspections of electrical wiring, lighting and watering systems typically used to grow marijuana indoors.
The ordinance limits growers to two customers per visit, and operating hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“It’s not a big commercial opportunity,” Schulz said.
Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana in 2008. The law allows caregivers to raise and supply cannabis for up to five patients.
The proposed regulations, which do not allow for marijuana dispensaries, could be changed if the state decides to allow the dispensaries, according to Mayor George Heartwell.
Schulz suggested that Grand Rapids wait to adopt zoning rules until the state decides about dispensaries.
“I don’t think we should sit around and wait for the state to act,” said 2nd Ward Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss.