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Fruitport Township Imposes Moratorium on Medical Marijuana

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FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP – A request to open a business to dispense medical marijuana near McDonald's restaurant on Airline Road caused Fruitport Township officials to implement at least a temporary halt to medical marijuana operations.

Like several other local municipalities, the township instituted a moratorium so officials could further review the state's two-year-old medical marijuana law and consider a local zoning ordinance to govern the growth and use of the drug. The township board approved a nine-month moratorium this week.

Township Supervisor Brian Werschem said township officials were not prepared to allow or disallow the person's request to open a dispensary without letting the planning commission finish its work on the issue and having township residents' opinions be heard during a public hearing. The person who contacted the township was interested in opening the dispensary near the corner of Airline and Pontaluna Road, across the street from the township hall.

The township's planning commission, already looking into the matter, is expected to discuss the issue at its Feb. 15 meeting at Fire Station No. 1, 5815 Airline. A public hearing would be scheduled for a later date. The planning commission would make a recommendation on a potential ordinance for the township board to consider.

The state's medical marijuana law, approved by voters in late 2008, has caused much confusion for Michigan's more than 45,000 licensed medical marijuana patients, law enforcement officials and local governments. The confusion has stemmed from the law's language, its conflict with federal law that continues to ban the use and possession of the drug, and some communities trying to regulate or ban its use without being sued.

The basic stance of the law is that patients can possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of usable marijuana and have up to 12 plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility or have a registered caregiver grow the drug for them. Many patients use marijuana to ease pain from conditions, including cancer.

Laketon Township was the first government in Muskegon County to establish a medical marijuana ordinance, approving a measure late last year that treats the drug's growth as a "home occupation" by primary caregivers and intends to ban commercial dispensaries.

News Hawk- GuitarMan313 420 MAGAZINE
Source: mlive.com
Author: Eric Gaertner
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Michigan Live LLC
Website: Fruitport Township imposes moratorium on medical marijuana
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