By David Fleet
Groveland Twp.-On Monday night the township board of trustees voted 5-0 to prohibit all marijuana establishments within the boundaries of the township.
“We are not doing anything that changes someone’s right to use marijuana,” said Bob Depalma, township supervisor. “Or grow it under the requirements for personal consumption. The issues is we (as a township) do not have the ability to manage or facilitate commercial operations located here. We have so few pieces of commercial property here. I don’t know where you’d put it? We are not going to put the (marijuana) shop in residential areas or the recreational area.”
The township joins, Atlas and Brandon townships along with the Village of Goodrich to ban pot sales. Ortonville is yet to address the law.
The township ordinance follows a state law that went into effect Dec. 6 after voters decided to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use on Nov. 6 by a 56-44 percent margin statewide. Michigan is now the first state in the Midwest to offer weed for recreation.
In 2008 Michigan voters OK’d medical marijuana.
Township voters followed the state vote and passed recreational marijuana. Township precinct 1-462 yes to 334 no; Precinct 2-572 yes to 348 no and Precinct 3-627 to 549 no. Locally, Proposal 1 followed state voters and approved recreational weed in all 13 precincts in Atlas, Brandon and Groveland townships with the exception of Atlas Township Precinct 1 where it lost 616 yes to 633 no. Also, in Brandon Township Precinct 4 Proposal 1 tied 914 yes to 914 no.
“LARA still has to publish the rules,” DePalma added. “We don’t even know all the rule yet.”
Applications for recreational marijuana business licenses will begin to be accepted on Dec. 6, 2019. Under the terms of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has one year from the date of the November 2018 election certification to prepare.