MUSKEGON, MI – Marijuana events, including those permitting consumption, could take place at Muskegon’s downtown arena and baseball stadium as part of a plan to further “embrace” the the city’s booming cannabis industry.
The city’s planning commission has approved the idea which will be presented to the city commission later this month.
The proposal would allow temporary events, such as trade shows, at Mercy Health Arena on West Western Avenue downtown and Marsh Field at the corner of Laketon Avenue and Peck Street.
Muskegon is already home to recreational marijuana stores, with about two dozen currently operating in the city. Many are in a “bunk neighborhood” along Laketon Avenue and Peck Street near the ballpark.
Mayor Ken Johnson told MLive it “makes sense” to allow temporary marijuana events at Marsh Field given its proximity to several retail stores.
“Let’s embrace the cannabis industry that’s here,” Johnson said. “Let it be part of our tourism. Let this make us a destination.
Those wishing to hold a marijuana event should apply for a special event license from the city, and a temporary registered marijuana event coordinator should apply for a license from the state.
Smoking marijuana would not be permitted during events at the arena, where smoking is prohibited. However, it is possible that cannabis edibles are consumed there.
The staff proposes that the entire arena property, including the exterior, be open for marijuana-related events.
Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson told MLive that few other communities allow marijuana-related events at larger facilities, which means Muskegon could be well-placed to host cannabis-related conventions. .
Such events could also generate revenue for the historic arena and baseball field that is home to the Muskegon Clippers, a summer varsity team.
“We think the cannabis industry can support these buildings more,” Peterson said.
Rair, a recreational marijuana retail store in Muskegon, is an arena sponsor during Muskegon Lumberjacks games, he said.
Temporary marijuana events are currently permitted at approved marijuana retail outlets in the city’s marijuana overlay district. The March 8 City Commission will consider adding the arena and ball diamond to the list of permitted event locations.
New Standard Park Place hosted the first such outdoor event in West Michigan, a “Halloweed” party in October 2021.
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