Pleasant Plains to opt in for recreational marijuana businesses

PLEASANT PLAINS TWP. — Township officials are looking toward recreational marijuana businesses to help boost the local economy.

The Pleasant Plains Township Board of Trustees approved a resolution to opt in to the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana and ask the township attorney to draft an ordinance regulating such businesses at their meeting on Monday, Sept. 30.

"It's not about how I feel personally about recreational marijuana, it's about what's best for this township," Pleasant Plains Township Supervisor Tammy Ghent said. "The businesses will bring jobs into the community and generate revenue for the township."

Pure Michigan Solutions in Baldwin is partnering with The Green Door, a medical marijuana dispensary in Bangor, to establish two medical marijuana dispensaries in the area, one in Baldwin and one in Pleasant Plains Township.

Pure Michigan Solutions owner Audrey Dominique said, "The Baldwin store should be opened by the end of October, with the other one opening in four to five months. Each store will provide around 10 jobs."

They plan to eventually open recreational use retail stores at each location, as well, and have plans to open a grow center for medical marijuana next summer, she said.

Pleasant Plains Township Planning Committee chairperson Su Eling said, "These businesses will not only bring jobs, they will bring people into the community to purchase those products and spend money on other things."

"It was encouraging, as well, to hear them talk about putting money back into the community," she added. "This past year, The Green Door in Bangor has put around $53,000 back into their community."

Once the ordinance regulating recreational marijuana sales, use, and distribution is adopted, the planning commission will establish guidelines for licensing and fees.

In other business, the board adopted a resolution to establish a special assessment district, which would fund the maintenance and repair of street lights within the township.

"Our millage for street lights was not renewed and the fund has been depleted," Ghent said. "It costs the township around $25,000 per year to maintain them. We don't have any additional operating millages and we do not get extra operating funds from anywhere else. We don't have the extra funds to cover this, so the best way we can do that is with a special assessment."

The resolution states that the board intends to proceed with the public improvement and to defray the associated costs by assessing the land within the special assessment district.

The board plans to hold a public hearing regarding the special assessment in order to hear from those who will be impacted by the assessment.

During the meeting the board also approved the following:

• Application for a USDA World Development Grant for $50,000 for fire equipment;

• The purchase of a new fire truck at a cost of $295,000; and

• Formation of a committee to plan an open house, tentatively set for Saturday, Nov. 2, for the new fire station.