WEBBER TOWNSHIP -- The Webber Township Board of Trustees held a meeting to get public input on an ordinance regulating the licensing of recreational marijuana facilities on June 16.

The ordinance, when finalized, will allow for licensing of three growers (class A, B, C) and three excess growers, three processors, two retailers, two microbusiness facilities, two designated consumption facilities, two event organizers/temporary events per year, two transporters, and two safety compliance facilities.

Township supervisor Ernie Wogatzke said the ordinance will now go to the attorney for review, and will be adopted by the township board following the completion of a zoning ordinance by the planning commission.

The Webber Township planning commission has been working on a zoning ordinance to regulate the placement of recreational marijuana facilities within the township since mid-March. Because of the coronavirus restrictions, the process has been delayed, Wogatzke said.

The commission will meet June 22 to finalize the zoning ordinance. That will be followed by a public hearing in July, and adoption of the ordinance at a subsequent meeting.

""We hope to adopt the zoning ordinance and the licensing ordinance at the same time," Wogatzke said. "Once they have been adopted, the board will have to pass a resolution to opt-in to recreational marijuana sales and distribution."

The board voted to opt out of recreational marijuana in November, because they did not have the necessary ordinances in place to regulate licensing and facilities. Wogatzke said at the time that the opt out was temporary, and once the ordinances were in place, they would opt in.

"We thought we would need to get all the regulations in place before opting in, because without them anyone would be able to establish whatever facility they wanted, wherever they wanted it," Wogatzke said. "We didn't want that to happen, so we opted out."

The meeting was held outside to accommodate more people. Because of the coronavirus restrictions, only 10 people are allowed at an indoor gathering, with social distancing in place. It was also accessible virtually.

"The meeting went very well," he continued. "Everyone was very positive. The public is in favor of allowing the recreational marijuana facilities. In the 2018 election, more than 75 percent of the residents here voted in favor of recreational marijuana."

In other business, Wogatzke said they have received a positive response from threatening to close the roads to ORV traffic.

At a meeting in June, the board agreed to notify residents and visitors that if the damage continued, the roads would be closed to ORVs.

"The governor's executive order said people could come to their cabins and isolate, but they are filling up the campgrounds up here,too,"Wogatzke said. "They have been tearing up the roads with the ORVs, traveling too fast and tearing up the surface so that it is difficult to drive down the road. Residents were getting upset because of the number of riders here.

"We encouraged riders to spread the word that if it continued, the roads would be closed to them," he said. "I think we are getting it under control. It is down to just a handful of riders now. We will continue to monitor it, and if we see that it is getting worse again, we will close the roads to them."

The township board will hold a budget meeting June 18. It will be accessible both virtually and in person. Public input is welcome. For information on how to access the meeting virtually visit, webbertownship.org.