Tyrone Township officials have adopted an ordinance banning the sale of recreational marijuana within the municipality’s boundaries.

It was a unanimous decision by the Board of Trustees at their December 4th meeting, just two days before recreational marijuana was decriminalized in Michigan. While local governing bodies do not have the ability to stop residents from using or growing marijuana, they can block marijuana-related establishments in their municipality. A number of communities in Livingston County have already done so, including the Village of Pinckney, the City of Howell, and Putnam, Hartland, Green Oak and Genoa Townships.

Many officials from those municipalities have expressed similar thoughts about opting out of recreational facilities, citing the ambiguity surrounding the state’s new law and the regulatory framework that has yet to be developed. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or LARA, has until December 6th of 2019 to create those guidelines. Tyrone Township Supervisor Mike Cunningham believes the municipality has chosen to opt out for the same reason that many other communities have. Cunningham told WHMI, “We’d like to see how this shakes out. ..We don’t want to be the first one to jump off of a cliff and end up with a trainwreck.”

The ordinance the board enacted is a regulatory ordinance, prompting the township’s Planning Commission to also discuss recreational marijuana regulations at their meeting Tuesday night. While the Planning Commission didn’t take any action, they have plans to consider how opting out will affect the township’s Zoning Ordinance and whether facilities should be permitted in one zoning district or excluded entirely. If the township ever decided to allow some of these establishments, they would be restricted by location. As a result, the zoning ordinance would have to clarify what districts the facilities would be permitted in. Chairman Mark Meisel says he’d rather amend the current zoning ordinance then have to repeal a regulatory ordinance and create a new zoning ordinance. (DK)