Here’s what you need to know about tonight’s public hearing concerning marijuana consumption lounges in Three Rivers

A marijuana strain is pictured flowering in an indoor grow facility.

The Three Rivers City Commission will convene for its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. tonight, with a public hearing scheduled to consider a proposed amendment to the city’s marijuana ordinance that would allow consumption lounges in the B-3 District.

Marijuana retail and safety compliance facilities are currently permitted for consideration in the city’s Central (B-3) Business zoning district by way of the city’s Special Exception Use (SEU) permit process. A petition application has been submitted to amend to the city’s Marijuana Ordinance to also allow consideration for Designated Consumption Establishments in the B-3 District. 

For more information: In Detail: Marijuana consumption lounges

Daly Broekema, owner of Daly Dope (113 Portage Ave.), submitted an application for a SEU permit for zoning business district B-3 to include marijuana consumption lounges. In her application Broekema cited “cannabis education classes” as her reason for the proposed ordinance change. 

“I want to host cannabis education classes where we can teach our community and visitors how to safely use cannabis. This is a rapidly evolving industry, and being able to provide a safe and legal environment to educate consumers would be pivotal for our community,” she wrote in her application. Broekema added that the consumption lounge would be located on the third floor of 113 Portage Ave., which is currently vacant.

Watershed Voice reached out to Broekema for a statement regarding her application to amend the current ordinance following the commission’s last meeting, and she had this to say:

“The reason I’m petitioning to amend the B-3 district’s marijuana ordinance is to give our community a safe and legal space for consumption,” she said.

“Cannabis consumption lounges encourage social connections, education, and safety. I plan to have an area designated for cannabis education classes, and a separate area for a social lounge that’s open during regular business hours. Adding such a unique business to our historic downtown would help revitalize and grow our economic ecosystem. We understand that there are safety concerns, but if the ordinance amendment is approved, we will be prepared to work with the city commission and local authorities to ensure public safety and education is of utmost importance.”

Only 10 states, including Michigan, have greenlit cannabis consumption lounges, with Michigan having two open and operating establishments: Kalkushka, a licensed consumption lounge in downtown Kalkaska, and Hot Box Social in Hazel Park which is open for private events. 

You can have your voice heard at tonight’s public hearing at the top of Tuesday’s meeting at Three Rivers City Hall (333 W. Michigan Ave.).