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Holland adopts home-based business model for regulating medical marijuana

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Medical marijuana supporters Jon Wood and Amy Gasaway hold signs outside Holland City Hall before the meeting on Wednesday night.

New regulations for medical marijuana will go into effect later this month in the City of Holland. Holland city council adopted the local regulations last night.

Caregivers will need to register as a home based-business.

However, caregivers won’t be allowed to operate within a thousand feet of a school, public park or pool. That provision passed by a very small margin because it makes most of the city off limits for cultivating medical marijuana. 

Holland City Councilwoman Nancy DeBoer voted for the ordinance. She admits there’s still a lot of gray area surrounding medical marijuana and the local laws aren’t perfect.

“This whole deal isn’t perfect. And I, you know I would hope that people would have patience and that we try to protect those people who need protection and help those people who need help and try to keep those lines dark and strong in our community.”

Some parents and community members asked Holland city council to ban all medical marijuana.

Jon Wood held picket signs supporting medical marijuana outside city hall before the meeting. The lifelong city resident calls Holland ‘conservative’ and he’s hoping to open people’s minds to the possibility that medical marijuana is good and prevent patients from becoming stereotypes.

“We don’t want to be put into a box as a bunch of stoner potheads. We just want patient rights to responsibly and legally use a medicine that’s available legally.”

Wood and other supporters say local regulations limit patient rights. A representative with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association told council the group would sue the city over the law.

Caregivers would have to register as a home-based business. But they can’t be within 1,000 feet of a school or public park and that knocks out most of the city.

Patients won’t be allowed to pick up medical marijuana so caregivers will need to deliver it. Patients who grow their own medical marijuana won’t have to register.