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Lansing may require some marijuana growers to register with the city

Nov 10, 2016

Medical marijuana growers in Lansing may soon have to register with city, if they use an “excessive” amount of electricity.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is proposing an ordinance to require people who continuously use 5000 kilowatts of electricity to register with the city.   

“We have seen a number of cases where the growing equipment used to cultivate medical marijuana overloads the electrical circuits in the home,” says Bernero. “This, of course, creates a fire hazard.”

Lansing officials say firefighters have responded to fires at grow operations caused by electrical issues, including one last week. The equipment needed to grow plants inside can draw a significant amount of electricity.

The ordinance would likely not apply to most medical marijuana users, who only grow a few plants.

It could affect ‘care givers’ who grow plants for several patients. The state allows ‘care givers’ to grow plants for up to five medical marijuana patients. 

Robin Schneider is the executive director of the National Patients Rights Association. She says ‘care givers’ are aware of the need to upgrade the wiring in their homes. They often do the work themselves or with the help of friends. 

But Schneider says many ‘care givers’ worry about getting city permits to upgrade wiring in their growing operations.

“We need to make sure the permits are approved and not denied for any reason,” says Schneider. 

The ordinance will be introduced next week.