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Dexter Township Board Approves 180-day Moratorium On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


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The Dexter Township Board of Trustees enacted a 180-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries on Monday night so the township's planning commission can draft an ordinance to regulate them.

The action follows similar moratoriums on clinics in several other Washtenaw County municipalities, including Ann Arbor and Chelsea. Several are drafting ordinances to determine the best way to regulate dispensaries, from outright banning them to specifying where they can be located.

The Dexter Township board's vote was 6-1, with Trustee Libby Brushaber voting against the moratorium. She said she objected to the wording in the resolution that allows already existing caregivers and patients the ability to grow the maximum number of plants allowed by the state law.

In October, Patrick Sloan, the township's director of planning and zoning, was directed by the board to "draft a resolution to impose a moratorium on the establishment of businesses and the issuances of permits and licenses for land uses related to the cultivation, sale and dispensation of medical marijuana, pending further study of the issue."

Sloan said the resolution was taken from Ann Arbor's website, then was modified slightly and vetted by the township's attorney, Peter Flinthoft.

Previously, Sloan said he'd received a few phone calls about medical marijuana, but no serious inquires.

In part, the resolution says the township "desires to ascertain the best and safest path to compliance with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare."

Cities, villages and townships across the state are dealing with a confusing state law that was overwhelmingly approved by voters and permits registered caregivers and patients to possess and grow specific numbers of plants. But the law doesn't provide guidance on facilities for dispensing or cultivating medical marijuana.

Dexter Village approved a similar moratorium, and its planning commission is mulling an ordinance that would allow dispensaries in a specific area in the village.

Saline banned medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, and Chelsea has taken the first step to do the same by approving on first reading a text change to its zoning ordinance that prohibits any use in violation of any federal, state or local law.

Federal laws "contain no provisions for the dispensation or cultivation of marijuana for medical or any other purposes," the township resolution states.

The Dexter Township board agreed it's necessary to amend township ordinances to address the issue, and the moratorium should give the planning commission time to make recommendations.

The moratorium also contains a provision that would allow it to be overturned in certain instances that "result in the preclusion of any viable economic use of (a) property, or will otherwise violate applicable provisions of state or federal law."

NewsHawk: MedicalNeed: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: annarbor.com
Author: Lisa Allmendinger
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Website:Dexter Township board approves 180-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries - AnnArbor.com
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