Macomb Extends Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Sales, Dispensation
Macomb Township's moratorium on the issuance of permits, licenses or approvals for the sale or dispensation of medical marijuana within township limits will continue for another six months.
Macomb Township’s moratorium on the sale and dispensation of medical marijuana will remain in effect for another six months following a unanimous vote by Macomb Township trustees Tuesday night.
In April, trustees voted to initiate a moratorium on the issuance of any permits, licenses or approvals for the sale or dispensation of medical marijuana within township limits.
Tuesday night, on the recommendation of attorney Colleen O’Connor, representing the township’s legal counsel Seibert & Dloski, trustees voted to extend the moratorium for another six months.
“It’s my recommendation that the board extend the medical marijuana moratorium for six months,” O’Connor said. “And the reason is that there is a lot of case law that is coming down that may have an impact on any sort of ordinance that the township may pass.”
The moratorium was first enacted with the view that the township's present Code of Ordinances has not been updated to reflect passage of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
However, with cases pending in the Court of Appeals that question whether the State of Michigan even has the right to allow the sale and dispensation of medical marijuana in light of the federal law prohibiting marijuana use, O’Connor said “this whole medical marijuana thing may be just a blip.”
“If the Court of Appeals does make a decision that the state is prohibited from allowing people to use medical marijuana because there is a federal prohibition against it, there’s no sense in us passing an ordinance that has anything to do with it,” O’Connor said.
She added her belief that six months time should be sufficient to see the Court of Appeals ruling and allow the township to act accordingly.
“It seems to me that passing an ordinance right now may be engaging in futile behavior because I just don’t know what the end result is going to be,” she said. “(In six months) we can adopt an ordinance if necessary to deal with any medical marijuana businesses that come into the township.”
In neighboring Chesterfield Township, trustees passed an ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries in the community on Dec. 6, 2010. However, that ordinance did not save the township and Michigan Attorney General's Office from becoming embroiled in a court battle arguing that Chesterfield-based dispensary Big Daddy's Hydroponics should be shut down on grounds it violates township ordinances and is a public nuisance. Big Daddy's in turn argues it doesn’t need to adhere to the township ordinance that wasn't on the books when the business opened in summer 2010.
New Baltimore passed its own seven-month moratorium on dispensaries in October.