Harrison Township opts out of recreational marijuana, for now

Mount Clemens to make decision soon

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published December 7, 2018

HARRISON TOWNSHIP/MOUNT CLEMENS — Members of the Harrison Township Board of Trustees on Nov. 26 voted unanimously to opt out of allowing recreational marijuana establishments to open for business in the community.

The vote came just over a week before recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan on Dec. 6, following voter approval during the general election.

“Having this done and in effect, we’re meeting that deadline and can move forward in a thoughtful and considerate way,” said Harrison Township Clerk Adam Wit.

On Dec. 6, adults 21 and older became able to  legally possess, cultivate and consume marijuana, however, recreational marijuana cannot be purchased just yet; it could take up to a year for state legislators and businesses to figure out the licensing aspect.

According to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, any business that sells recreational marijuana would be licensed by the state, and communities were granted the ability to decide if they want to allow these businesses in their municipality or township.

The timeframe for when businesses could obtain such a license remains unclear.

Township Supervisor Ken Verkest noted that the vote by the board is just a “short-term opt out while we wait for the dust to settle.”

“Our peer communities have taken similar action,” Verkest said. “We need to have some thoughtful consideration. This subject deserves the same amount of time as medical marijuana.

“The fact that we’re taking this action doesn’t mean we’re opting out forever,” he continued. “But there were some concerns that if we didn’t take action, there was a potential for grandfathering; someone might come in and apply (for a business license) and we would have to accept (the proposal).”

The recent statewide vote also allows adults 21 and older to grow no more than 12 plants at their home, or more if one has a license to do so.

The different license types are: marijuana retailer; marijuana safety compliance facility; marijuana secure transporter; marijuana processor; marijuana microbusiness; Class A marijuana grower, authorizing cultivation of not more than 100 marijuana plants; Class B marijuana grower, authorizing the cultivation of not more than 500 marijuana plants; and Class C marijuana grower, authorizing the cultivation of not more than 2,000 marijuana plants.

Mount Clemens Mayor Barb Dempsey said the City Commission will be discussing recreational marijuana during its Dec. 17 meeting. She expects that the commission will vote to opt out as well.