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    Marijuana social club plans opening near Flint amid legal haze

    knucklehead bob

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    knucklehead bob

    GENESEE TWP, MI – A nondescript Genesee Township banquet hall is set to become a social club for adults 21 and older to come out, play games and have a snack.

    Oh, and maybe use a little marijuana.

    “I think it’s going to be wonderful. I’m not selling the weed. I’m not saying here’s a bag. I’m not pushing the weed,” said Anna Germain, an owner of the building near Dort Highway and East Mt. Morris Road set to become The Rec Center this month. “They can bring their own.”

    But Genesee Township Supervisor Steve Fuhr says the business would have to come before the zoning board and could face being shut down without the proper approval.

    “They will be shut down by our building department and get a cease and desist order on it,” he cautioned.

    Germain argued the business is already zoned for entertainment, as it has operated as a wedding hall, and she would be moving forward with plans to open the weekend of Jan. 12-13.

    “There’s going to be a lot of misconception. There’s not anything like it,” she said. “I’m sure I’m going to have some headaches, but I’m prepared for it.”

    The genesis for her idea came from the Punch Bowl Social in Detroit, a bar that offers bowling, arcade games and table games including pool, ping pong, air hockey and shuffleboard.

    Germain said the facility won’t offer alcohol, but it will rent games out by the hour and offer food including cold-cut sandwiches. Ultimately the facility will provide a space for people to spark up who can’t use marijuana where they reside, she added.

    “I’ve got a lot of people that live in apartments and a lot of different places where they can’t even smoke the weed,” she said. “... If they cannot smoke at home, they can come here.”

    Approved by voters in November 2018, Proposal 1 allows adults 21 and over to possess and use marijuana at home, but landlords may bar renters from smoking marijuana in their residences. Marijuana usage is also not permitted in public spaces or in vehicles.

    Q&A: Everything you need to know about the marijuana legalization proposal in Michigan

    Common questions and answers about Proposal 1, which would legalize recreational marijuana for adults.

    “We could encourage (people to use) Ubers and designated drivers, same as a bar,” said Germain. “To me, that’s the only legal hiccup."

    So, what exactly are the guidelines for social clubs that allow adult-use marijuana in Michigan? That’s where things become a bit hazy.

    David Harns, spokesman for the state’s Bureau of Marijuana Regulations, pointed out two sections of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act -- or Proposal 1 -- that could affect marijuana social clubs.

    Section 6 notes municipalities can adopt ordinances pertaining to marijuana establishments; the time, place and manner of marijuana establishments; the production, manufacturing, sale or display of marijuana accessories and the establishment of penalties for civil infractions.

    Under Section 8 of the new law, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) put into effect rules for issuing state licenses to operate marijuana-related businesses including cultivation, processing, purchasing, as well as consumption in designated areas, at special events in limited areas for a limited time, and to facilitate scientific research and education.

    “There’s going to be a process for that, of the promulgation of rules,” Harris said.

    Matthew Abel, a cannabis attorney and one of the authors of Proposal 1, said there are two issues at hand with clubs: No smoking in public and a clause that says marijuana can be given away as long as it is not advertised or open to the general public.

    “The way to do it would be word of mouth at a private club,” he commented, noting municipalities typically have local licensing standards on what is allowed at such establishments.

    Fuhr said he was not exactly sure if the local governing body had any standards on such clubs, directing the question to Amanda Doyle, the township’s attorney.

    Doyle has not returned a call by MLive-The Flint Journal for comment on the matter.

    Fuhr noted the township board has voted on an ordinance to opt out of recreational marijuana businesses at this time. He previously stated the decision was to allow for extra time while the state sorted out the new law.

    The ordinance states: “Genesee Township hereby prohibits all marihuana establishments within the boundaries of the Township pursuant to Initiated Law 1 of 2018” and establishes a fine of $100 to $500 per day for those in violation.

    The law requires the state to start licensing recreational marijuana businesses by 2020.

    Voters in all nine Genesee Township precincts approved of Proposal 1, with 4,973 yes to 3,012 no votes.

    Fuhr also argued any new businesses would have to go before the planning commission prior to being allowed to operate within the township limits.

    “It wouldn’t be a standing business (otherwise),” he argued.

    Germain, who has owned dispensaries across Genesee County, said allowing such businesses could have a large, positive economic impact on a local level and believes in marijuana’s medicinal impact.

    An analysis released in October 2018 by the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency showed the state could bring in up to $287.9 million in new tax revenue in 2023.

    Germain has always held out hope that marijuana would one day become legal on a statewide level.

    “I’ve seen it coming for a long time and patiently waited,” she said. “Just riding the wave.”



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    I'm wondering how this place is different from Vehicle City Social?  How can it be the 1st when VCS is the first? 

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    knucklehead bob
    7 minutes ago, imiubu said:

    How can it be the 1st when VCS is the first? 


    I do believe VCS is for med card holders only . Doesn't that make it a private club ? 

    Edited by knucklehead bob
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    • 2 weeks later...

    @knucklehead bob There is a private social club on Woodward near Palmer Park, called Tribute.  They provided "memberships" and everyone brought their own which made for a very enjoyable experience.  I think this model of canna-business would be perfect for any city that didn't' want a stand alone "weed store".



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