Soon, Bay City will open something that is new for Mid-Michigan — lounges that are like a bar…for cannabis users.
Bay City is one of just a handful of cities trying this in our state.
Earlier this month, the city commission revised its recreational marijuana ordinance, allowing a total of five designated consumption licenses to qualified applicants.
It has been met with both support and opposition.
“It’s highly regulated, just like the sales,” City Commissioner Chris Girard said.
No alcohol will be allowed at the lounges and though customers won’t be able to purchase cannabis at a consumption lounge, and will need to do so at a retailer, he says the revenue generated from cannabis sales has impacted the city.
“We’ve seen close to $800,000 this past year coming to the city,” Girard said.
Spence Anderson, Director of Operations of Remedy Room Michigan, which has a location in Bay City is in the process of obtaining a license to put a Cannabis Consumption lounge next door to his retail shop.
“Like a bar, there will be a bar where people can consume, there’ll be a pool table, there will be a stage for standup comedy, music,” he said.
However, other groups have concerns that this effort could cause more youth to use cannabis, even though you must be 21 to purchase cannabis or enter a lounge.
“Youth use is often increased when adult use is increased,” Katie Ball, Prevention Specialist Lead at McLaren Neighborhood Resource Center said, noting there are differences when it comes to a designated driver joining in at a traditional bar and one joining in at a cannabis consumption lounge.
“If they are inhaling THC at a greater percentage than 11 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, they, too, can become impaired as well,” Ball said.
Owner of neighboring business BarqueBC Tim Schmidt says he doesn’t have a preference either way but supports the opening of new business.
“I think it’s good for the area, it’s something new for people to do, it’s legal, if someone wants to open up a business i think they should have every right to do it,” he said.
ABC12 also spoke with owner of Gatsby’s Restaurant Kyle Revette, who says he feels any effort that brings in more people to the area is a positive move.
Saginaw Mayor Brenda Moore tells us cannabis consumption lounges are not a topic of discussion there right now. (Full Story)