Marion Township has joined the list of municipalities in Livingston County that are opting out of recreational marijuana businesses.

At a Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, an ordinance was introduced that would prohibit recreational marijuana establishments within the township. A resolution adopting the ordinance was unanimously approved without much discussion by board members. Clerk Tammy Beal did speak to WHMI about her decision to support the resolution stating, “I just think it’s going to cause more issues…everyone else is prohibiting it. I just don’t think it’s a good idea. We want to wait until the federal government gets their ducks in a row; see what’s going on with that because that’s still prohibited.”

After voters approved a proposal legalizing recreational marijuana in November, communities were given the option of prohibiting recreational marijuana facilities in their area. If municipalities do not opt out, they are automatically opted in. The majority of communities within Livingston County have opted out, including Brighton, Genoa, Green Oak, Hartland, Iosco, Oceola, Putnam, Unadilla, and Tyrone Townships, the Village of Pinckney, and the cities of Brighton and Howell.

The State of Michigan cannot accept applications for recreational marijuana facilities until 12 months from the effective date of the initiated law, giving LARA, or the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, until mid-November of this year to develop regulations before those facilities can begin applying to legally open. A number of local officials have said they want to wait until a regulatory framework is in place before considering a recreational marijuana business, and opted out as a precautionary measure.

If the state does not have guidelines in place by December 6th, local governments will have complete control over how the facilities are regulated in their municipality. (DK)