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Points North

Points North, Ep. 8: 'Pot village'

Max Johnston
Interlochen Public Radio
Bob McMaster (left) and Ron Bush (right) are two members of the Vanderbilt Village Council. They don't want marijuana businesses in town - at least for the time being.

This week on Points North, local governments across Michigan aren't letting recreational marijuana businesses open in city limits. But residents in one village Up North are trying to overrule their local government's decision – something that could set a precedent statewide. Plus, a look at one northern Michigan tribe’s maple sugaring operation. 

'Unprecedented' small-town fight over legal weed

Credit Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen Public Radio
The Village of Vanderbilt is about 15 minutes north of Gaylord.

It’s legal to have marijuana in Michigan if you’re over the age of 21, but it’s up to individual cities to let marijuana businesses operate. Vanderbilt, a small community north of Gaylord, is in the middle of a legal and political debate over those businesses, and the village could set a precedent for the rest of the state.

Hear how voters are taking matters into their own hands.


Grand Traverse tribe amps up their community sugarbush

Credit Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen Public Radio
Desmond Berry, the natural resources director for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, stirs sap in the evaporator at the tribal sugar shack.

The tradition of boiling maple sap to make syrup is practiced in Michigan on many scales. But Indigenous communities were tapping trees for centuries before settlers arrived. Now the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is reviving sugaring knowledge for their citizens.

Learn about the age-old tradition and the tribe’s new sugaring equipment.


We want to hear from you:

Maple sugaring is a reminder that spring is here. We want to know what you’re doing right now that feels quintessentially spring. Call and leave a comment at 231-276-4444, email a voice memo to ipr@interlochen.org or write a comment on this page.

Morgan Springer is a contributing editor and producer at Interlochen Public Radio. She previously worked for the New England News Collaborative as the host/producer of NEXT, the weekly show which aired on six public radio station in the region.