Lawsuit filed against Pontiac over medical pot dispensaries

Some Pontiac activists and business owners are sending a strong message to their city leaders.

"I want to be able to operate and run my own medical marijuana dispensary," said Robert Sinclair. "I don't understand the backlash because this is something that we voted on and it got approved by the city, and it seems to me that the mayor is dragging her feet."
Sinclair is part of a lawsuit filed against the city accusing the mayor and members of city council with not complying with a new law that allows medical marijuana dispensaries to be established in Pontiac.

"The new law required that the city establish areas where dispensaries could open up and operate within 60 days of it being approved by the voters," said attorney Joseph Xuereb. "In addition to the clerk not accepting and processing applications timely - the city council approved a moratorium extending that deadline 90 days."

The attorney says they are also hearing rumors that the mayor will delay the matter again at a city council meeting set for Tuesday.

"The city doesn't run by rumors, so 60 days, the council said they don't want to be rushed," said Dr. Deidre Waterman, Pontiac mayor. "We want to do this right. So they passed a 90-day moratorium."

The mayor says they are working to get everything in order so that the city can move forward on the issue.

"Next up it will be in council's hands tomorrow," Waterman said. "If they pass the ordinance, then we're on line to get the application process on. We've been working with the clerk, who is in charge of the whole application process. The clerk I know, does intend to be ready by Feb. 8."

Tim Shepard says he owns eight buildings in Pontiac and only one is filled to capacity. He believes more tenants will want to lease space from him if they know marijuana dispensaries will be established in the city.

The mayor says her priority is to make sure the law is instituted correctly and believes the city will see a financial boom once everything is in place.

"We anticipate that there will be."