Niles Township to vote on marijuana businesses in November midterms

Niles Township will vote on marijuana and marijuana-related commerce in the November midterms.
Niles Township will vote on marijuana and marijuana-related commerce in the November midterms.(WNDU)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - At the top of the ticket, Governor Gretchen Whitmer is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, while a quintet of candidates will battle it out for the G.O.P. nod.

While the primary will determine ‘who’ will be on the ballot in November, there’s some excitement in Niles Township as to ‘what’ will appear in the fall.

“And I don’t see they’re really serving the economic development of this area whatsoever,” said Maggie Patterson, who conducted a petition drive that will allow voters to decide whether or not to welcome marijuana businesses.

The elected township board members previously opted out of Michigan’s marijuana law.

“I mean we’re blighted and broken. I mean look at how Buchanan was, look at how Niles was. They get establishments in there operating, they’re like renewed. They have a lot of positive forward momentum in the community, and we have none,” said Patterson.

“We still maintain that we opted out and that’s our position,” said Niles Township Clerk Terry Eull. “Our position now is let the people decide, you know. From where we’re sitting right now, I can drive two miles and by a number of places.”

Patterson says she has spent about $12,000 to get the petition campaign to this point and she fells the time is right to move forward.

At a meeting tonight, the Niles Township board is set to discuss the wording that will be used for the ballot question.

“Niles is making millions of dollars, one store in particular, more than others,” Patterson said. “But I think that we can, as they say, head them off at the pass, seeing as we have the state line and the corridor, So, it only makes sense for us to grab the money while it’s still available before the great state of Indiana gets involved.”

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