Source: Sherman Publications

Medical marijuana moratorium extended

by David Fleet

April 13, 2011

Groveland Twp.-A medical marijuana dispensary company that is eyeing opening a facility in the township was raided last week at their Walled Lake location.

The Caregivers of America dispensary was raided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency on Monday. No details were released by the DEA.

In January, Sean Robinson, a spokesperson for Caregivers of America, attended the township planning commission meeting to explore the possibility of establishing a co-op for growing medical marijuana. Township Supervisor Bob DePalma said he was contacted in January by Caregivers of America, who expressed interest in establishing their business in the community.

During the January meeting Robinson did not give details of when the formal proposal for the co-op would be presented to the township.

The township is currently working to establish a medical marijuana dispensaries ordinance and has been discussing the issue at the planning commission meetings. To allow more time to hammer out an ordinance, the township board of trustees approved a 120-day moratorium at the April 11 meeting.

“We have not heard back from Caregivers (of America) since our meeting in January,” DePalma said. “We did receive one other call regarding marijuana dispensaries since then. The individual just asked what was going on with the marijuana ordinance.”

“We don’t want to jump into this ordinance,” he said. “I visited the Walled Lake facility operated by Caregivers and it appeared to address many of the concerns over security. However, after the news (of the raid) I contacted the township planner John Iacoangeli regarding the ordinance.”

A public hearing on the medical marijuana ordinance could come as early as May.

“None of us want to get involved with nuisance laws with the ACLU,” he said. “I am looking for a countywide ordinance of medical marijuana at some point soon.”

On Nov. 4, 2008, Michigan voters approved by 63 percent the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. The law went into effect Dec. 4, 2008.

According to the state regulation, patients may possess up to two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana and 12 marijuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. The 12 plants may be kept by the patient only if he or she has not specified a primary caregiver to cultivate the marijuana for him or her. Groveland Township voters passed the law 1,947 to 1,047 with 65 percent of the vote.

The Atlas Township Board and the Ortonville Village Council passed moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries last year. The Brandon Township Board unanimously passed a six-month moratorium on medical marijuana during their March 21 board meeting.