Clinton Township is trying to figure out what steps it needs to take as Michigan enacts new medical marijuana laws.
The state’s new law goes into effect January 1, 2018.
Medical marijuana advocates have already begun to lobby for recreational use of marijuana in Michigan. In Supervisor Robert Cannon’s letter to the township Board of Trustees, he noted that “medical marijuana is on our doorstep and recreational marijuana is not far behind.”
That’s why Clinton Township is looking at a five-person committee that would gather information about the new medical marijuana law.
The new law brings big changes from the 2008 legislation that legalized the use of medical marijuana. That law allowed a caregiver to grow up to 12 plants for a patient.
The new law creates three classes of medical marijuana growers: those who can grow up to 500 plants, those who can grow up to 1,000 plants, and those who can grow up to 1,500 plants. The law also gives power to local municipalities to choose whether they’ll allow licenses for growers in their community.
Cannon wrote that it was a divisive issue, but added: “If we do create an ordinance that would allow for growing or dispensing, I want to be armed with an many resource as possible that will allow Clinton Township elected and appointed officials to make recommendations for what would be in the best interest of our community.”
The public seemed split.
Walter Bozman told 7 Action News that he’s concerned about crime that an increased amount of medical marijuana industry could bring to Clinton Township, but noted that he’s sympathetic to those who could use it.
“I’m on the fence,” said Bozman. “Yeah, I want to see more data. I want to see more results.”
That data is something the new committee is tasked with finding. The board is expected to make formal invitations to experts on both sides of the issue to create a plan for Clinton Township.
According to Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs office, a municipality will have the right to choose whether they want to pass an ordinance that allows the type of facilities a grower, or processor is trying to open.
The law also allows for the municipality to regulate the amount of facilities they will allow, and establish rules on zoning, fees to be paid annually up to $5,000 and would have final approval over licenses that would be transferred or sold.
The new Michigan medical marijuana laws go into effect next year.