Webber Township opts out of marijuana sales
WEBBER TWP. — Webber Township has decide to opt out of the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana, for now.
The Webber Township Board of Trustees adopted an ordinance prohibiting the establishment of recreational marijuana facilities within the township boundaries at their meeting on Thursday, Oct. 10.
"Since we are running out of time, it is probably a good idea for us to opt out," Webber Township Supervisor Ernie Wogatzke said. "We need to have the planning commission hold some public hearings to determine if the public actually wants to see recreational facilities in our community."
Wogatzke said the statewide election in Nov. 2018 allowing recreational marijuana use was based on people being able to use it in their own homes and had nothing to do with facilities, so now the board needs to determine if the people who voted for use want the facilities.
"We need to get the ordinance on the books before Nov. 1, so they know we have opted out at this time," he said. "Unlike medical, if we did nothing we were automatically out. Now if we do nothing we are automatically in and we do not have regulations in place for that."
Webber Township attorney Seth Koches told the board they can repeal the current ordinance and re-issue an ordinance to opt in once the planning commission has established regulations for licensing and zoning of the facilities.
Wogatzke said in the 2018 election, recreational marijuana use was approved by a 2 to 1 margin in Webber Township and some are upset that the board decided to opt out.
"We want to do the will of the people, but for now, we need to opt out until we can put everything in place in order to be protected," he continued. "There are a lot of new pieces to the law that have to be considered. Those things will need to be looked at closely and decisions will need to be made about what we want to allow and what we don't."
The planning commission will hold a series of meetings to get public input regarding recreational marijuana facilities, zoning issues and other topics. Meetings will take place at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21, Nov. 18 and Dec.16. The public is welcome at all meetings.