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Addison extends moratorium on MM facilities

November 24, 2010 - Those hoping to open a medical marijuana facility in Addison Township will have to wait a while longer to see how the local government plans to deal with them.

By a vote 7-0, the township board Nov. 15 extended the moratorium on medical marijuana facilities for another 240 days after the planning commission asked for more time.

"The extension is necessary to allow time for the ordinance to be created, reviewed and a public hearing by the board," Addison Township Clerk Pauline Bennett said.

"We need every one of the those days," Trustee Ed Brakefield said.

Brakefield, who is the liaison for the Planning Commission on the Board of Trustees, held up his newest information packet, which contained over 60 pages and said that every page had to be read before making a decision.

"Unlike the health care plan, we like to read it before we vote on it. That is our requirement," Brakefield added.

The planning commission and Township Attorney Robert Davis have been working diligently since this summer to put together some type of general ordinance, instead of a zoning ordinance, regulating the use of medical marijuana.

"That would seem like it would be the best approach for us," Brakefield said.

They simply ran out of time due to the massive amount of information they received and had to go through.

In 2009, Addison Township voters passed the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act by a margin of 1,874 to 1,681. On July 19, township officials adopted the initial 120 day moratorium to conduct research and see what townships and villages were doing.

"What we are doing is looking at communities surrounding Addison Township and going outside and looking at states outside of Michigan for marijuana laws," Brakefield said.

Davis told the board that a moratorium can be in place for up to one year before running into due process problems.

"Essentially, what you are doing is keeping away people seeking permits and trying to gain access to the rights until you have figured out as a community what you need to do," he said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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