NILES TOWNSHIP (Mi. — M.D. Patterson has been collecting signatures for three weeks to support a referendum on bringing cannabis dispensaries to Niles Township.
“It’s a no-brainer to do it, and I wanted to get it done, so I just acted as a lone wolf, ha ha!”Patterson laughed.
Niles Township board members opted out of Michigan’s program that allows dispensaries to open shop within their township limits. However, neighboring towns like Buchanan or Niles have allowed dispensaries and have received more than $450-thousand in excise taxes.
Patterson believes that this amount of money could be used in order to revitalize the township.
“We’re blighted here,” she said. “I’ve been the business owner of Doggie Drive Thru for thirty-three years and I’ve yet to see roads being in good shape. There’s a lot of problems and this is a way to get serious money, just by issuing a license that you get five-to-ten-thousand dollars for.”
Patterson said she spent $10-thousand on her own money to create an ordinance. Patterson stated that shops like Primitiv and Re-Leaf expressed interest in expanding their operations into the township by purchasing vacant or for-sale property, possibly including her own business, Doggie Drive-Thru.
Now she needs signatures to approve her referendum.
“My goal is four-hundred signatures,” she said. “I have to have a minimum of two-hundred and fifty to get certified and get it on the ballot.”
Patterson said she has almost one-hundred signatures and that she gained three during our interview. She also has petitions at nearby businesses like Bertrand Automotive and Birds Eye View.
She has until August 2nd to get the minimum amount.
“I just really could use some signatures,” she said. “Stop, day or night, and sign up.”
The Niles Township Board was unable to comment.
Patterson can get enough signatures to vote for cannabis in Niles Township if he gets enough votes.