Macomb Township decided it will be joining many other cities that have chosen to opt out of recreational marijuana facilities and businesses. The decision was made at the Dec. 19 board meeting.

Macomb Township decided it will be joining many other cities that have chosen to opt out of recreational marijuana facilities and businesses. The decision was made at the Dec. 19 board meeting.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Macomb Township approves prohibition of marijuana establishments ordinance

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published January 2, 2019

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Township will join many other cities that have chosen to opt out of recreational marijuana facilities and businesses.

At the Dec. 19 Board of Trustees meeting, a request was made to approve the Macomb Township prohibition of marijuana establishments ordinance. The request was unanimously approved.

In November, Michigan residents passed Proposal 1 by a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent to make recreational marijuana legal.

The proposal asked residents to authorize and legalize possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years of age and older. It allows individuals to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption and impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences.

Recreational weed became legal in Michigan Dec. 6.

Macomb Township Attorney Tom Esordi at the meeting said that part of the act to legalize recreational marijuana gives the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs until Dec. 6, 2019, to receive applications for the establishment of marijuana businesses.

“That statute also gives Macomb Township the complete ability to prohibit or otherwise limit the number of marijuana establishments within its boundary,” Esordi said.

After the proposal passed, Esordi and Macomb Township Planner Patrick Meagher looked at other communities and what they were doing as it relates to Proposal 1.

“We were in touch with the Michigan Townships Association and their recommendation,” Esordi said. “We looked at the legal consequences of further challenge or action that might be involved.”

The two came up with the draft ordinance, which completely prohibits marijuana establishments within the township.

During the meeting, Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn read a letter she received from Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham.

“It is my opinion that the township Board of Trustees should exercise its right to prohibit the establishment or operation of marijuana establishments within the township,” the letter states. “As I have spoken many times regarding the opioid crisis, specifically the challenges our office sees on a continuous basis regarding drug use, I feel this is the appropriate action to take regarding any marijuana facility in Macomb Township.”

The Board of Trustees also received support for the ordinance from Ron Roberts, the superintendent of Chippewa Valley Schools.

“We talked to Clinton Township, Shelby Township, Lenox Township and various communities,” Dunn said. “Michigan Townships Association came out with a sample ordinance, and we thought that was the way to go.”

In communities that allow marijuana establishments, the public would be able to purchase the allowed amount of marijuana from a licensed business. The initiative allows cities to decide if they want to allow these businesses in their municipality.

Michigan is the 10th state in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use, joining California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Washington, D.C.

In Macomb County, Proposal 1 passed with over 35,000 more ‘yes’ votes cast, or 55 percent of the vote. In Macomb Township, there were 773 more ‘no’ votes than ‘yes’ votes.