By Mike Kruzman /

Brighton City Council is expected to further clarify what they are asking of the Planning Commission in terms of a potential ordinance allowing recreational marijuana establishments at their upcoming meeting.

At least partly seeking to avoid a situation like what happened in the Village of Pinckney where a ballot initiative from an outside party was passed and forced a zoning ordinance amendment for marijuana establishments, Brighton City Council has directed planning commissioners to explore what one for the city might look like. Over multiple meetings, however, the planning commission appears uncertain on what exactly City Council is expecting of them.

A memo from Community Development Manager Mike Caruso shares the commission’s reluctance in creating a draft ordinance and sending it to council without putting it through their normal process which includes a public hearing and a recommendation vote. At their November 15th meeting, the planning commission decided on going with an “items for consideration” approach. They came to a consensus on several items, including district locations, sign regulations, hours, and more. At the December 6th meeting, Caruso writes that staff noted to commissioners that council was requesting a proposed ordinance. However, with four members absent, they postponed action, citing the importance of the topic.

City Council has expressed interest in allowing a pair of licenses for dispensaries and testing centers in the city. Planning commissioners have largely spoken against a desire of allowing the cannabis industry into the city, but Chairman Matt Smith has previously told WHMI that if they are tasked with that duty, they will perform it to their best ability. Brighton has two City Council members on the Planning Commission. Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Bohn and Susan Gardner have both spoken in opposition of such an ordinance.

At this Thursday’s City Council meeting, an agenda item is set for councilmembers to hold a discussion regarding marijuana businesses and consider further direction for staff and/or the planning commission. The meeting will be held electronically, with Zoom meeting login instructions available on the City’s website.