The State and Webster Township approves Proposal 1- Now What?





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By Lynne Beauchamp, lbeauchamp@thesuntimesnews.com

Webster Township voters, along with the majority of voters in the State of Michigan, approved Proposal 1-Legalization of Recreational Marijuana but the township would like input from its residents on commercial facilities.

Webster Township residents voted in favor of Proposal 1 in a 2259-1702 vote (total count for three precincts in Webster Township according to Washtenaw County’s official election results).



The Webster Township Planning Commission, at its regular meeting on November 21, had an open discussion on the commercial aspect of Proposal 1 within the township.

“Townships, such as ours, do have the option within a year to opt out of it, not in terms of recreational use but we have the ability to opt out of allowing facilities in our township [grow facilities, processing, transporting or sales facilities],” explained Andrea Zamansky, Webster Township Planning Commission Chair. “Or we could, as a township, chose to allow facilities but limit the numbers or types of facilities that we allow within our township.”

The planning commission was provided an opt out type ordinance provided by MTA for review. But Zamansky reminded members that the township voted in favor of Proposal 1, and questioned whether the people of the township wanted recreational marijuana type facilities in the township or voted in favor to just be allowed the opportunity to use recreational marijuana without the facilities.

One question raised by the planning commission was, if commercial type marijuana facilities were allowed, how could the smell be regulated. Another question asked was if the growing of marijuana on land fell under the “right to farm act”.

While Proposal 1 read to Allow individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption. Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers. Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them. Permit retail sales of marijuana and edibles subject to a 10% tax, dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located. Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractionsthere seems to be a “grey area” of the law as to when those wishing to apply for a recreational marijuana facilities license can and when municipalities can opt out, as was discussed by the planning commission.

Webster Township officials agreed to look further into the passed proposal, but before making any further decisions, would like to have input from the residents of the township. Webster Township officials want to know if its residents want to have recreational marijuana facilities within the township-whether its a grow facility, a processing facility, a transporting facility or a sales facility. Should one type of facility be allowed but not another? Should the township regulate the number of facilities? These were questioned asked by the planning commission of its residents and would appreciate any feedback on the topic. For those Webster Township residents wishing to provide comment, email Webster Township at administrator@twp.webster.mi.us.

 

 

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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