Fenton Twp. — Recreational marijuana facilities could be prohibited in Fenton Township.
At the May 20 meeting, the Board of Trustees listened to township attorney Jack Belzer explain an ordinance that would prohibit all marijuana facilities in the municipality.
Michigan voters passed the Michigan’s Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act Initiative in the November 2018 election. The law requires that cities and townships opt out of allowing recreational marijuana facilities if they do not want them in their municipality. The law does not fully take effect until December.
The majority of Fenton Township residents voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. In the November 2018 election, 4,536 residents voted “yes” on Proposal 1 compared to the 3,926 who voted “no.”
“Under state law, if you don’t want to have marijuana establishments in the township, you have to opt out,” Belzer said. This includes any growing, transportation, testing, selling and other establishments mentioned under state law.
A violation of the ordinance would be considered a civil infraction, with fines ranging from $100 to $500.
Treasurer John Tucker mentioned a Mt. Morris marijuana facility that has 500 plants and a state license.
“Just so we’re all clear, there are very large amounts of money involved here. I don’t say that because I think we ought to get involved in the business because I don’t think the residents want this,” he said, adding that the application for the Mr. Morris facility cost $5,000.
Tucker said people are watching to see how recreational marijuana facilities play out in other communities. Municipalities which allow these establishments can get a share of the taxes paid by marijuana facilities.
But, this still isn’t something he believes residents want in the community.
This was the first reading of the ordinance. The second reading, when the board will vote, will take place June 3. Other local municipalities, including Argentine Township, Fenton, Linden and Tyrone Township, have passed similar ordinances.