KALAMAZOO, MI — Facing uncertainty amongst itself and from regulation at the state level, Kalamazoo Township held off on a decision to allow medical marijuana facilities to open.
New state laws regulating five types of medical marijuana facilities licenses prompted communities across Michigan to decide how they will respond to the growing industry. Wednesday, Kalamazoo Township decided to postpone a vote on an ordinance until Nov. 13 but informally supported the proliferation of licenses.
“I think (township residents) need medical marijuana and we need it regulated, but I don’t think we have our ducks in a row,” said Supervisor Don Martin. “I’m very concerned about where we are in the process. I would like to tell (people seeking licenses) exactly where they can go, and we’re not there yet.”
Township leaders discussed the situation at length during a joint meeting of its Board of Trustees, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.
State operating licenses will be granted by the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation, created within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Trustees were uncomfortable with the ever-changing nature of aspects of obtaining a license, and their own lack of clarity. Changes made by LARA caused the city of Kalamazoo to postpone its consideration of medical marijuana ordinances.
“We are muddling in the dark,” said Trustee Steven Leuty.
A municipality has to adopt an ordinance authorizing one or more medical marijuana facilities to open when licenses are available on Dec. 15. Local governments can adopt ordinances imposing regulations on the businesses, but can’t regulate the purity or pricing of marijuana or conflict with state law.
During a public comment period that opened the meeting, multiple residents and medical marijuana stakeholders expressed their desire to comply with whatever ordinances the township sees fit. Speakers included several people interested in opening a medical marijuana facility,