Township board sends message on marijuana facilities

FLINT TWP. — With a look ahead to future state medical marijuana regulations, the township board has approved a resolution of intent for it local rules.

The resolution is designed to ”send a message” of the township’s intent to those who will be investing in the industry, said Tracey Tucker, township building director.

“It is the opinion of Peter Goodstein (Township Attorney) and Doug Piggot (Rowe Professional Services) that we should not move forward on licensing until the rules are in place from LARA,” she said.

LARA is the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in Lansing, which has until December 15 to set rules for the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, PA 281, that rewrote the law for growing and selling marijuana in Michigan.

The township has a medical marijuana ordinance on the books that, according to the resolution, might be rendered illegal or ineffective by the new rules. Depending on what state rules are decreed, the township will consider allowing some activities permitted by the act, according to the resolution. Tucker said the township board has the option of saying it will not be allowing anything or that it would allow these stated facilities – processing facilities, secure transport centers, safety compliance facilities and grow centers. Note that dispensaries are not listed. The resolution also states that the township board will adopt its new rules within 90 days of getting LARA’s state-level rules.

Trustee Frank Kasle, who made the motion to approve the resolution, said his understanding of it is that it does not approve any particular facility but rather states that the board intends to consider which facilities to allow, after getting LARA’s ruling. He also expressed interest in restricting all facilities to designated zoned areas. Tucker said the local ordinance she eventually writes will adhere to state law but the board still can choose which type of facilities to allow or not allow and the annual fees that will be levied. Treasurer Lisa Anderson sought clarification that the board is not obligating itself at this time to allow any of the facilities.

Tucker said the resolution simply gives her approval to create an ordinance within 90 days of getting the LARA directives but that when it is presented to the township board, it can be amended or not passed.

The resolution of intent was approved in a 4-2 vote with Township Supervisor Karyn Miller and Township Clerk Kathy Funk voting against it. Township Trustee Tom Klee was absent. LARA will not be accepting applications for state licensing of marijuana facilities until after December 15 but no applications will be accepted unless the municipality in question has adopted an ordinance authorizing the facilities.

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