Stevensville voters say ‘yes’ to no dispensary in town

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 12:40 AM EDT
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STEVENSVILLE, Mich. (WNDU) - The voters in Stevensville have spoken: if you want to get your pot from dispensaries, you’ll have to buy it elsewhere.

The “yes” votes won Tuesday night, meaning residents rejected the proposal of dispensaries in Stevensville, repealing the November ordinance.

In November 2022, the village passed an ordinance permitting up to two dispensaries to operate in the town, but after an outcry from locals, a referendum was added to the May ballot.

The proposal would’ve allowed these marijuana retailers to generate additional tax revenue to be dedicated to village road improvements.

But opponents countered that other funding streams, including state grants, were available to the village.

“The marijuana thing had the potential of dollars, and I know it is happening in other communities, but I also am seeing that it’s dwindling across the state because of over saturation in the market, says Mary Jo Tomasini, the Chairperson for Friends of Stevensville. “And so, we feel like this won’t be the cash cow the village hoped it to be. The other thing is we want to attract other businesses to the village that lots of people want to come to, not just a niche audience. It’d be great if we could get a restaurant or something else that would be a family-friendly venue.”

The proposal seems to have gone up in smoke because the opponents to this ordinance have prevailed by a vote of 287 to 181.

This means the village will need to find alternative funding for its road improvements.

The Village Manager, Kacey Dominguez, told 16 News Now that she was unavailable for comment on Tuesday night.

Here is the full statement from Friends of Stevensville Chairperson Mary Jo Tomasini: