Webber discusses options for recreational marijuana
WEBBER TWP. — With the recreational marijuana law voted in by Michigan voters now in effect, local municipalities have to decide whether to actively opt out of allowing licensing or how to otherwise regulate sales in the township.
In Webber Township, 310 out of 486 voters were in favor of recreational marijuana. At the township meeting last Thursday, board members said they want to figure out a plan regarding recreational marijuana because the vote showed an interest among residents in legalized recreational marijuana.
Ernie Wogatzke, supervisor, said the township consulted its attorney, and if they don’t adopt a recreational marijuana ordinance, licensing for sales in the township would be automatically allowed. The other options would be to adopt an ordinance to deny facilities or create an ordinance allowing for sales with specific placement and regulations.
“My vote on recreational marijuana will go with the majority of people in the township who voted in favor of it,” Wogatzke said.
Dan Reynolds, owner of Canna Care, who is starting a medical marijuana grow facility in the township on Dog Track Road, was on hand to answer questions.
“My goal is to bring the whole cannabis industry to Webber Township,” he said. “Facilities ahead in medical marijuana program will be on the fast track to receive the recreational program.”
With Webber Township voters favoring recreational marijuana, Reynolds asked township officials to revisit allowing provisioning centers for medical marijuana in their ordinance, something voted down by officials this past year based on public input sessions prior to the November election. Reynolds would like to see a provision center on the corridor of M-37 and U.S. 10.
The township will host a public workshop at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 3, to further discuss the topic of provisioning centers. Reynolds plans to be at the workshop to answer questions.
Also during the meeting, Wogatzke told the public the township will be deciding whether to fund the Webber Township Fire Department with a fire millage or assessment.
A fire millage renewal was supposed to be on the ballot this past November, but because the township is in litigation with the village of Baldwin Downtown Development Authority, partly to release fire funds captured by the DDA, the township is waiting on the outcome of a court date between the DDA and Webber Township on Jan. 24.
In answer to constituents’ question on how much litigation fees have been for the township against the DDA, which began December 2017, $4,660 has been spent, including a $2,000 court preparation fee.
In other business:
• State Rep. Scott VanSingel, R-Grant, gave a legislative update and discussed the lame duck session.
• The board gave grant writer Sandy Clarke permission to move forward on securing a Michigan State Housing Development Authority grant of up to $50,000 for housing improvement and affordable housing.
• Trustee Dan Cousar, liaison for the planning commission, said the master plan/land use plan is complete for the township, and 12 hard copies have been distributed.
• The board approved $180 to send four people to a board of review class in Evart including $30 for gas.
• The board approved Ben Hill for a three-year term on the planning commission.
• Wogatzke concluded the meeting by listing accomplishments and a review of the township for 2018 and named goals for 2019.