Township opts out of allowing medical marijuana businesses

FLINT TWP. — It was a case of déjà vu at Monday’s Flint Township meeting when a vote on whether to allow medical marijuana testing facilities in the township again ended in a tie, essentially opting out of allowing the businesses.

Township attorney Peter Goodstein and senior planner Doug Piggott were on hand to try to stem some of the confusion that occurred during the board’s Aug. 5 meeting when Trustee Tom Klee questioned whether allowing testing facilities would open the door for other types of facilities later on. The other four types of medical marijuana businesses are growing, transporting, processing and dispensaries, which were all voted down at the Aug. 5 meeting.

Goodstein said parts of the state’s new marijuana laws remain unclear.

“I don’t have an answer that you can opt in for one type and not others,” he said. “It’s also not clear that if you opt into medical, you can opt out of recreational.”

“There are provisions with the act that could be interpreted as connecting the two,” Piggott added.

Treasurer Lisa R. Anderson asked whether the board could change their minds later if there is a different interpretation of the law. Goodstein pointed out that if the board allows testing facilities, the owners already would have property rights the township can’t take away.

Trustee Frank Kasle moved to allow testing facilities, but Klee said he still questioned whether allowing the businesses was the right thing to do.

“I’ve heard in the news of other facilities causing problems,” Klee said. “This looks to be the smallest impact, but I’m still not comfortable.”

Anderson, Klee and Trustee Carol Pfaff-Dahl voted against allowing testing facilities, and Supervisor Karyn Miller, Kasle and Trustee Barb Vert voted in favor. Clerk Kathy Funk was absent.

Economic Enhancement Director Tracey Tucker reminded the board it still has to deal with the question of allowing the same five types of businesses for recreational marijuana. She said if the township wants to opt out of recreational marijuana, it must do so by Nov. 1. The item will be on the agenda for the board’s the next meeting on Oct. 7.