By Mike Kruzman /

Pinckney Village Council has accepted a voter-elected marihuana establishment ordinance into code, amended it, and placed a moratorium on issuing licenses.

The ordinance, which was forced onto the November 3rd ballot by the efforts of the grassroots group Jobs For Pinckney passed with 54% of the vote. At Monday’s online meeting of Village Council, Village Attorney Dave Stoker said their first order of business was moving it into code because it was, in theory, enacted when residents voted on it. Following that, Village Council approved an amended ordinance in which, as they felt and discussed during the meeting, fixed consistency issues and redundancies.

Sam Pernick, who heads Jobs For Pinckney, felt it did a lot more than that, however, claiming Council is “eliminating 99%” of the passed ordinance.

As it stands, the amended ordinance establishes exactly one license in the Village for each of: a marihuana safety compliance facility, secure transporter, microbusiness, retailer, and grower of any class- A, B, or C. The original ordinance allowed for more microbusinesses, a second retailer, a grower for each of the three letter classes, and a designated consumption establishment.

During the public forum portion of the meeting, Pernick said he doesn’t know how this reflects the spirit of democracy and how the voters voted. He accused Council of having an opportunity to take action when voters elected to legalize recreational marihuana two years ago, but they instead “sat on (their) hands.” To the new ordinance people approved earlier this month, he told Council, “Now you’re basically saying ‘yeah, no thanks, we’re just gonna ignore what the people voted on.’I think that’s pretty disappointing. I think it’s very undemocratic.”

Following its passing, Village Council adopted a moratorium on accepting and issuing license applications or permits until no less than this coming March 1st , but no longer than April 1st. Stoker said during this time they need to establish the zoning ordinance which is already being worked on, establish criteria for sorting out applicants, and put a fee schedule together. Village President Rebecca Foster said those reasons are why the moratorium is necessary. She said they are looking at an application they may borrow from another community that seems “pretty comprehensive” and have other resources on the application process and how to score them. Foster claimed they are moving pretty quickly on these items and she thinks they’ll have all those pieces in place before the April 1st deadline.