Terça-feira, 23/7/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

Medical marijuana facilities sparks controversy

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The Ross Township board of trustees has been under siege by a small, local group, for the decision to “opt in” to a law signed by Governor Rick Snyder in December of 2016. The “Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act” (MMFLA) clarifies the legality of medical marijuana products in Michigan, and and allows dispensaries and other medical marijuana operations to engage in townships that choose to allow them.

When a townships chooses to allow these rules, it is  said to be “opting in.”

Currently 92 out of 1,240 townships in Michigan have chosen to “opt in”; the neighboring township of Richland has not.

The two ordinances passed in response to opting in were Ordinance 205 and 209. These ordinances allow for medical marijuana growing, testing and packing facilities. There are no dispensaries allowed in Ross Township.

In response tandem groups have been made with “Ross Township No Grow” and “Ross Township for Sustainable Development”. These groups include the same individuals who are working to have the ordinances repealed.

Critics of the decision have several major concerns with a Ross Townships decision to “opt in.” Not only do critics believe this was done without community knowledge, they have major concerns including environmental impacts, community aesthetic, property value and residential zoning.

Mike Sulka, creator of the Ross Township No Grow Facebook page, is a concerned citizen.

“Ross Township opted-in as quietly as possible,” he said in an interview with this reporter. Before opting-in, the Ross Township Planning commission and Board of Trustees held seven public meetings. No residents spoke against the ordinances.

Water usage is a concern raised. Millions of gallons of water could potentially be used. At very minimum, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality requires water permits if irrigators are withdrawing more than 100,000 Gallons per day.

This  issue has many individuals upset on both sides of the argument. Many of the “No Grow” supporters have seen its signs stolen or driven over. And those who are pro opting in have received backlash. According to WWMT, Ross Township Planning Commissioner, Sherri Snyder, has received threats against herself and her family because of the boards’ decision to opt in.

There have been several special Planning Commission meetings held since the community uproar. There is another meeting scheduled for June 11, at 7 p.m. regarding the Medical  Marijuana growing facilities.

Talk has arisen regarding the potential of the old Brook Lodge being converted into a medical marijuana grow facility. Photo by Tova Carter.




[caption id="attachment_23989" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tova Carter poses for mug shot.[/caption] This year is my first year on newspaper, and my final one at Gull Lake high school. I’ve always wanted to do newspaper but never seemed to have the time. I enjoy writing and have a passion for news.  


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