WASHINGTON — City officials aren't opposed to having an adult-use recreational marijuana dispensary in town and charging a 3 percent sales tax for products.
"But that doesn't mean we're going to jump up and down and say, 'Pick us,' to someone who wants to open a marijuana dispensary," Alderman Brett Adams said Monday during a committee meeting.
"Let's be honest. The chances of this council approving a marijuana dispensary in Washington are slim to none," said Alderman Dave Dingledine.
So why keep the door open for a dispensary -- after adult-use recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state Jan. 1 -- and the sales tax, which would be in addition to the city's current 8.5 percent sales tax?
The deadline for applying to the state for the marijuana sales tax is Sept. 30. City Administrator Ray Forsythe called it a one-time opportunity without an obligation to approve a dispensary.
Alderman Todd Yoder and Mike Brownfield said the city shouldn't close the door to a future revenue source after adding 1/2-percent to the city's sales tax for infrastructure work and raising water and sewer rates in recent months.
The City Council will vote on the marijuana sales tax at its meeting next week.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will recommend locations for a marijuana dispensary to the City Council after holding public hearings.
Mayor Gary Manier, after saying at an earlier meeting that he wasn't opposed to having a marijuana dispensary in the city, said Monday he now is opposed to it "after I heard from a huge number of residents."
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.