Otsego Township board rules out medical marijuana

Daniel Pepper

Otsego Township board members passed a resolution stating they don’t intend to opt into the State of Michigan’s medical marijuana system.
Board members discussed the idea Monday, Sept. 11, a month after being asked about it by a potential medical marijuana business owner at the August meeting.
Supervisor Bryan Winn brought it up.
“This says we won’t opt into the program,” Winn said. “What it does is that whoever answers the phone or if I’m asked, it doesn’t put this on that person, this allows us to say we as a township board have said we aren’t going to be part of the situation.”
The Michigan legislature passed Public Acts 281, 282 and 283 last year, which regulate the growth, processing and transport of medical marijuana and amend the voter-initiated Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to allow for other products using the more concentrated extracts from the marijuana plants.
Individual townships and cities are given the discretion under the state law to allow or not allow the businesses that produce or distribute the drug, which remains illegal for any purpose at the federal level.
The state will not even accept licensing applications for the facilities prior to Dec. 14, 2017.
Clerk Joan Squibbs said the resolution was a sample from the Michigan Township Association.
“A lot of places are being put in the position we were last month, where we haven’t chosen to opt in, but we also hadn’t really discussed it,” Squibbs said.
Trustee Lori Bumgart referred to a hypothetical brought up at the previous meeting.
“So, what happens if we get all of our people in here in the next meeting telling us they want this?” Bumgart said. “Can we change our mind?”
Squibbs said the board could change the resolution with a majority vote, just as it passed it that way.
Trustee Matt McPherson said he liked the resolution.
“We can say we voted to opt out and we’d have to change our minds to opt in.”
The resolution passed unanimously.

Contact Dan Pepper at dpepper@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.


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