MI: Richmond, Lenox Townships Consider Medical Marijuana Issues

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Medical marijuana facilities could be a possibility in Richmond Township though members of the board of trustees want to hear residents’ thoughts on the idea.

Richmond Township Supervisor Cindi Greenia said an informational meeting is scheduled for April 18 at the township hall

“This is a program on medical marijuana and we want to know what our township residents would like to see the board do as far as what they would feel comfortable having within our township borders,” Greenia said.

Public Act 281 of 2016, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, allows five types of facilities including: Grower, Processor, Secure Transporter, Dispensary and Safety Compliance Center.

Greenia said the township has scheduled its own attorneys to attend the meeting and a colleague from their Sterling Heights based firm will do a presentation on the topic.

“The main purpose of this meeting is to get information out — not to sway anyone either way,” Greenia said. “We are looking for their opinions (our residents) real and raw — we want to know. But, we also want to try to give them some information to think about.”

In attempt to have all residents heard on the subject, the township placed a six-question survey on its website seeking comments and concerns about the topic.

“Right now, we have only received about 30 responses and it’s been about 50/50 split on the yes vs. no,” Greenia said, noting all surveys must be submitted by April 11.

The board will review the surveys to try and gage what the majority of residents are comfortable having in the township.

“We will definitely review the surveys and there are five different types of facilities that are up for discussion,” Greenia said. “The board can decide if we want to allow one of them all of them or anywhere in between.”

In another effort to hear from residents, the township printed and mailed out post cards to each resident because they are determined to make the decision that is best for the community, Greenia said.

So far, Richmond Township doesn’t have any applications for such a business but that’s likely due to the fact that they are not listed on the state’s municipal units that allow any of the facilities.

“I was getting at least a call a week last fall — sometimes 2 or 3 — wanting to know if we were going to allow anything,” Greenia said. “We are taking our time; we want to make the BEST decision possible for everyone.”

Lenox in the application phase

In nearby Lenox Township, officials have already adopted an ordinance accepting all five types of facilities.

Township Clerk LuAnne Kandell said the board held two public hearings with only one person speaking out against the plan before adopting all five types of facility uses in Dec. 2017. They revised their ordinance in Jan. 2018 and then announced applications would be accepted until March 12.

Kandell said officials received 55 applications but they don’t expect to approve all.

Of the five categories Lenox Township received the following applications: 1 grower Class A. – max. 500 plants, 1 Grower Class B – max. 1,000 plants and 30 Grower Class C – max. 1,500 plants, 7 for processor, 16 for dispensaries and no application for testing or transportation facilities.

The application process was quite extensive and each one included a 10-page packet to fill out and also required 29 attachments be supplied to the township. The municipality can by law only allow 15 growers and three each of the other categories – dispensaries, processors, testing and transportation.

“Each one had to follow the obligations outlined in our ordinance and once we get through the paperwork the board must decide which ones will get a provisional license,” Kandell said. “But then it’s on to the state and they actually award the license to operate.”

After that business owners must return to the township to get their operating license.

Kandell also explained that there won’t be any home planting or distribution of the marijuana from private residences as the township ordinance states a building in an industrial area is required for growth operations and dispensaries must be in a facility in the commercial district.

To respond to the Richmond Township survey on the subject go to Richmondtwp.org.