Howell Twp. Working Toward Decision On Recreational Marijuana
March 19, 2019
Howell Township officials are still working to determine whether they’ll permit and regulate recreational marijuana businesses in the community or prohibit them entirely.
The issue was brought up at the township’s Board of Trustees meeting Monday, but officials were unsure what action to take, if any. A public hearing seeking input from residents was held at a Planning Commission meeting on February 26th. At the board’s meeting, Planning Commission Chairman Andrew Sloan stated that the majority of citizens that attended the public hearing weren’t even from Howell Township. A motion was then presented to make a recommendation to the board that the township opts out of the businesses, but that failed in a three-to-four vote. The planning commission decided to table the decision of whether to opt out to further explore ordinances that have been established by other communities. Sloan says since that time, he’s considered how the township would be affected if the facilities were permitted.
Because banks are federally insured, they cannot allow recreational marijuana businesses to have checking accounts because recreational marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Sloan says it concerns him that the businesses would have to make bill payments in cash as that could put a burden on the township’s treasurer. Sloan also stated that additional patrols may be needed from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office if the businesses are allowed, which the municipality would be responsible for covering the cost of.
Board members did discuss whether they should move forward with an ordinance prohibiting such establishments while they wait for further progress from the state in developing regulatory framework. But some members felt the planning commission should consider the issue further before taking official action. Board members essentially suggested that the commission look at all aspects of the sale of recreational marijuana, like possible benefits, permitting the businesses in certain districts or banning the facilities altogether.
The board did not take action as the planning commission is set to meet on Tuesday, March 26th, at which time further discussion could take place. Officials are hoping the commission will come up with recommendations for an ordinance or even a draft of one that the board could adopt.