At a meeting on Thursday, March 1, the Watson Township Board reversed an earlier directive to the Planning Commission to begin work on an ordinance that would have governed businesses that grow and process medical marijuana in the township.
The board has had numerous discussions about the issue, and held a meeting in December with the Planning Commission about crafting an ordinance to allow the facilities.
But after discussing the issue among themselves at the March 1 meeting, board members agreed to wait and see how Watson Township residents vote on a proposal likely to be on the statewide ballot in November allowing recreational use of marijuana in Michigan.
Seven states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana, and 29 states — including Michigan — have legalized its medicinal use. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is also working to get a petition to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan on the November 2018 ballot, and coalition officials say the group has turned in enough signatures to qualify.
Travis said if Watson Township votes in favor of recreational marijuana in November, that could be an indicator that residents would have no problem with medical marijuana operations. If that’s the case, he said, the board could take another look at the issue after the election.
At present, Travis said, Watson residents can have grow cards and grow marijuana according to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act 2008.
But without an ordinance on the books, those who want to open businesses to process and grow medical marijuana in Watson Township will not be able to do so at this time.
Travis also said that without the ordinance, the township will be giving up money that could have been generated from license fees on those businesses.
Treasurer Sue Jones, who works in the township offices on Monday