March 23 08:59 PM

Capac residents may get to vote on medical marijuana

April 13, 2018
CAPAC — It appears the fate of medical marijuana facilities will be determined by village residents later this year. The village council, at a special Thursday meeting, directed their attorney to draw up ballot language that could go before voters at the August primary election.

Members made that decision after a large crowd filled the historical society where nearly all voiced their opposition to a 640,000 square foot growing facility as proposed by King Midas. Many urged the council to let residents have the final say, referencing recent developments in the village of Almont where the results of a community survey showed most respondents were opposed to medical marijuana facilities and, as a result, the Almont Council voted on April 3 to rescind its earlier decision to "opt-in" to the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA).

Capac's attorney Al Francis will bring the proposed ballot language to the council's next regular meeting this Monday, April 16, at the American Legion Hall, starting at 7 p.m. Wording to appear on the regularly scheduled August primary ballot is due to the clerk's office by May 15.

On the advice of Francis, Capac leaders have not yet voted to opt in or out of the MMFLA. Before them is an ordinance drafted by Spicer and their planning commission that would allow for commercial grow and processing facilities as a special land use. Mary Klug, one of the council members who requested the special meeting said they had wanted to discuss the "holes" in the ordinance that were flagged by Francis after he reviewed the document and had no intentions of voting Thursday night on the ordinance.

Look for updates on this story in the print edition of the Tri-City Times and online at

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.
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    Voice of a Capac village resident
    April 16, 2018 | 11:33 AM

    First off, at the very beginning of the meeting which I was in attendance for, Mary Klug was very opposed to having any Resident feedback taking place. I don't know all the details behind this but it seemed very frustrating to think they would have a special meeting without wanting voices to be heard. She was only one of 2 that seemed to support this. The lawyer however said that in fact, residents do have the opportunity to voice their comments and feedback (thank you Al). Your article didn't mention much about the other council members including the two gentlemen who helped facilitate and provide a lot of information. They also expressed that personally they did not support this, however other council members seemed very hesitant to share their personal view. I believe we need complete transparency from Council Members and there should be investigations coming from outside the village to ensure there's no vested interest by anyone on the council or other influential members of the community. I did however hear the school superintendent, the police, DPW and postal worker all saying they were very opposed to this. I think their votes should definitely be an influence! And ultimately it needs to be determined by the residents of Capac! Most significantly those in the village where the impact could be greatest.

    Interestingly, this is not really about wether anyone agrees or disagrees with medicinal marijuana use, thats a completely different topic. It's about a large industrial facility coming into our community producing a controlled substance, still not supported by federal government, and what the effects of that could be. I hope that certain individuals who are very passionate about medical marijuana recognize the vast difference. We can't let emotions cloud what we're really dealing with. Everything I found shows nothing positive ultimately came from this type of facility coming into an area especially a very small town like ours. In fact it reflected the opposite.

    It feels like for some people, there is disillusionment about the jobs this company claims it will provide and how much those jobs would pay based on wording that was meant to confuse. When you say the average income is $62/year, break it down. Consider the owner(s) and top level positions of the company will probably make exorbitant amounts of money (this is an extremely profitable endeavor) making six figures. Then a small tier of management making good money, but which leaves the majority of labor workers at minimum wage or a few dollars above. If you do the math of averaging, you could technically claim an average income of $62,000 a year but it's extremely misleading. In addition, as far as I'm aware, they've never guaranteed they would even hire anyone from Capac. We need to consider reality here; for a company to say they'll create jobs means very little when so many people outside of Capac can easily commute in. They likely already have people lined up for their top positions and they are not people from our village, our township or even our county. Capac is foreign to them, and them to us.

    The owner and his team will be coming in to St. Clair County from Oakland County yet there are plenty of facilities sites in Oakland County including pre-existing structures. I know multiple facility sites that could be relatively turnkey, and are just waiting for a company to come in and occupy. So again, it seems a little odd they wouldn't want the facility closer to their own backyard if it was such a wonderful idea.

    We want Capac to thrive on local business by local residents. We want to stay the small town we are. There are so many other ways to help our community and increase job opportunities. We don't need to be "rich" here and shouldn't be lured by something that appears "shiny". It's dangerous to be decieved, look at Adam & Eve. I hope city council will be more open to reviewing different ideas to improve and grow our community in the way that preserves so many things Capac residents hold dear. Possibly offering incentives for small business owners to come in to Capac or building more volunteer support in the community. We honestly don't need or want a big factory... We moved here 3 years ago from the suburbs for a reason. And we'll move out if that reason is gone...

    Kathryn Christian
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