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Medical Marijuana Businesses Plan to Fight Holland Township Actions

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Holland, MI –The owners and operators of Patient Solutions 420 say the township board had their business in its sights when it adopted a licensing ordinance and zoning ordinance amendment Thursday evening that bans dispensaries in the township.

Monica Bakker, a spokesperson for the medical marijuana dispensary, said her company has been the target of the township board throughout the months-long process that began last fall, but it plans to fire back in an effort to have the ordinances nullified before they are enacted.

Bakker said a law firm representing the dispensary will file a Michigan Open Meetings Act violation charge against the township board and its individual members in the 58th District Court.

"What we will be seeking in the complaint is to find that (the board and members) violated the Open Meetings Act, and we will be asking the court to enjoin what was adopted (Thursday) and invalidate it," said Daniel Grow, an attorney with Targowski and Grow of Kalamazoo. "The most glaring error, we allege, is when (the board) met after the March 3 meeting and had a second meeting, a private meeting."

Bakker, who has been attending township board and planning commission meetings since the debate over regulating medical marijuana began last fall, said she overheard several board members discussing medical marijuana after the board meeting was adjourned on March 3. Bakker said she was waiting for a ride in the foyer of the township offices, out of sight of the board inside its meeting chambers, and claims Township Supervisor Terry Nienhuis said to the other board members, "So we have a consensus. We'll recommend that the planning commission pass the ordinance to us. ... We have a consensus, right?"

Nienhuis said the board did not violate the Open Meetings Act.

"We deny it every occurred, and that is pretty much how we are responding right now," Nienhuis said. "We are always concerned when accusations are made, but we are confident a violation did not occur."

Nienhuis said the board did not pass the ordinance and the amendment on Thursday specifically to shut down either of the two dispensaries operating in Holland Township. Both businesses will be illegal when the ordinances go into effect 10 days after being published in the local newspaper.

"That (accusation) was just way off the mark," he said. "We weren't focused on any individual or facility. We were just focused on what we wanted to do about this illegal substance and the distribution of medical marijuana."

If the board members are found of intentionally violating the Open Meetings Act, they could be fined up to $1,000 and put in jail for 90 days for a first offense. They can also be subject to personal liability, up to $500 and court costs and actual attorney fees of the person or group that brings suit.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: hollandsentinel.com
Author: Gary Brower
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: GateHouse Media, Inc.
Website: Medical marijuana businesses plan to fight Holland Township actions
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