Alpena marijuana vote could come Tuesday | News, Sports, Jobs


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ALPENA — The fate of the legal sale of recreational marijuana in Alpena could be decided Tuesday night.

A special joint meeting of the Alpena Municipal Council and the Alpena Planning Commission begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at city hall, which could dictate the future of recreational marijuana in Alpena.

At the meeting, council could support a draft ordinance to allow recreational marijuana businesses to operate in the city and move forward with the implementation of it, or elect to keep things as they are.

The city opted out of Proposal 1, which prohibits recreational marijuana businesses from operating within the city limits shortly after the state proposal passed in 2018.

Mayor Matt Waligora said there could be a vote to move forward with a draft ordinance for recreational marijuana that is similar to the one passed that allows for medical marijuana businesses to operate, but changes could be made to it if council chooses.

Waligora said he hopes there is a vote on the proposed ordinance so, if there isn’t enough support for it, those involved in making the rules don’t waste any more time on the matter and have a clear direction set moving forward.

“I don’t want staff, or anyone else, to have to go through any more work unless the council signs off on it,” he said.

Waligora stressed that the meeting will only be to review the draft ordinance, discuss pros and cons of it, and to listen to receive public input on the matter. Anyone wanting to make a comment has five minutes to address the council.

If the council chooses to move forward with the ordinance, or make changes to it, it would take several meetings before it is officially approved or denied, Waligora said.

He said the first reading would be done at a future meeting, probably later this month and then the second reading at a meeting could take place in December. Then, the council would have the final vote on the ordinance.

Waligora said this timeline is not set in stone and the matter could be pushed into next year if significant changes are needed to the draft ordinance.

Check back for updates.

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