Village Reacts After ‘No’ Vote on Bringing Marijuana Businesses to Town

The village of Vanderbilt decided by just 12 votes Tuesday to turn down a plan to allow 22 licenses for marijuana businesses.

The village government in Vanderbilt said ‘no’ to recreational marijuana earlier this year.

Then the community drove an initiative to put the issue on the ballot. That initiative was signed by more than 5% of the voting population, but the measure failed.

Diana Bunker has lived in Vanderbilt for most her life.

It’s where she grew up, raised her kids, and now works as a hair dresser

“This is a nice small town, I’d like to keep it the way that it is,” Bunker said.

She opposed the plan to bring recreational marijuana businesses to the village.

“Michigan’s roads are potholes, you know, I just don’t wanna be known for the capital of the dispensaries,” Bunker said.

Village trustee Robert McMaster says residents have no problem with marijuana, they just don’t want these businesses in their town.

“I would say the majority of people in Vanderbilt don’t want to go into people’s houses, see if they’re smoking marijuana and arrest them, however they are concerned about the community,” McMaster said.

He opposed the plan. His concerns included increases in crime, environmental impacts to their water supply and effects on children.

Ryan Cottrell, the trustee behind the plan, says he will work on a new proposal that includes possibly lowering the number of licenses available.

“We’re gonna address why people voted no, we’re definitely gonna go around and we’re gonna talk to some people in town and find out what they’re comfortable with,” Cottrell said.

Bunker says even with a lower number of licenses “I’m against it all the way.”