2017-08-24 / Views

Note to villages, twps.: Figure out cannabis

Note to townships and villages in the county not named Solon: Figure out the medical marijuana issue before you have to.

We don’t mean to pick on Solon Township, but the municipality provides direction to local officials elsewhere to determine the course they would like to take rather than being forced to make that decision on the fly.

In Solon, resident Samuel Rosinski submitted a proposal to build a large-scale marijuana growing and processing plant in the township at the same time he sought to change the Zoning Ordinance to allow such uses in the Agricultural district.

His plan faced on uphill struggle, especially after neighbors started to believe the proposal had been given an inside track for approval by the township zoning administrator. When Mr. Rosinski’s plan crashed, it took with it any chance of the township hosting a cannabis growing facility in the near future. The Solon Township Board voted unanimously to reject all commercial growing, a decision allowed in changes made to medical marijuana law in Michigan.

Township attorney David A. Bieganowski said Mr. Rosinski sought to open shop through the “back door,” and we agree. Whatever the motivation for trying to avoid the medical marijuana issue up front, it backfired. Instead, residents and even public officials grew uncertain about the issue before them — zoning or marijuana? Efforts to restrain or disallow open discussion at public meetings fueled mistrust, and led to a backlash.

Neighbors of property eyed for development deserve better. So do developers hoping to cash in on the impending boom in marijuana production deserve better.

We suggest township boards and villages councils put the medical marijuana issue on the agenda for their next meeting. Determine if there is support to allow marijuana-growing facilities. And learn about the options.

Then make a decision sooner rather than later.

The second step should be determining where a medical marijuana facility could locate. The first step should be saying yes or no to the drug itself.

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