Green Oak Township has joined several other municipalities in Livingston County in prohibiting recreational-marijuana facilities within their community.

The move to block the facilities is technically a decision to err on the side of caution, as recreational marijuana facilities cannot submit an application for their establishment to the state until 12 months from the effective date of the initiated law, which will be mid-November of 2019.

Green Oak Township’s Board of Trustees met Wednesday night and discussed an ordinance prohibiting all marijuana establishments within the township’s boundaries. The ordinance was adopted following a unanimous vote, just four hours and 15 minutes before the statewide prohibition on recreational marijuana ended. Communities were required to either opt in or opt out of recreational facilities before marijuana became decriminalized today. Those who chose to opt out can opt in at any point, but those that did not opt out will no longer have the option to.

Referencing the legalization of medical marijuana 10 years ago, Township Supervisor Mark St. Charles says officials didn’t want to do anything back then to interfere with individuals who had a legal medical marijuana card or a caregiver’s abilities to help a patient. He says in the same way, they don’t want to do anything to interfere with what the voters had voted on, adding that on the other hand, they have an obligation to all of their citizens to take a good, hard, deliberate look at marijuana establishments. St. Charles tells WHMI the time frame between the election and legalization was too short for officials to fully discuss the logistics.

Several other municipalities in Livingston County have already opted out, including the City of Howell, Putnam Township, and the Village of Pinckney. Communities that choose to opt out have the option to opt in at any time. If the state does not have guidelines in place by December 6th of 2019, local governments will have complete control over how the facilities are regulated in their municipality. (DK)