The Village of Pinckney appears to be the first local community to “opt out” of allowing recreational and medical marijuana facilities following the passage of Michigan’s Proposal 1.

Council met Monday night and unanimously adopted an ordinance prohibiting marijuana establishments due to various unknowns and the potential strain on Village resources such as police and zoning. Under the ordinance, the Village will be an “opt out community” and is not allowing commercial marijuana growth or sales. The ordinance was simple boiler plate language according to Council President Linda Lavey. She told WHMI they’re not making any judgment but rather just saying it’s maybe not right for Pinckney, right now. She says instead of waiting for the state to regulate it, Council is pre-regulating it but if the state comes up with things that are amenable to their business, they can always change it as their attorney explained.

It was noted during the meeting that it’s all speculation and everything is wide open following the statewide and local passage of Proposal 1 to legalize recreational marijuana. Some members expressed concerns but most had general questions for the village attorney and Police Chief Jeff Newton, who referred to the situation as a “cluster” and said there’s been nothing from the state and things likely won’t get sorted out until 2020.

Village Attorney David Stoker clarified that under Proposal 1 that passed, municipalities can choose to “opt out” but always have the option to “opt in” later, including if there is a specific use or plan presented. What is not clear yet is if a municipality chooses to “opt in” but then wants to “opt out” later. He says there are three essentially levels – medical marijuana, medical dispensaries and recreational marijuana. Municipalities that “opt out” like the Village did, still have the option to “opt in” whenever they choose. It was also noted they can “opt in” to different aspects such as allowing grow operations, testing labs, dispensaries or transporters. While a specified amount of marijuana can be grown for individual purposes, that person must still adhere to different laws, as do caregivers and growers of medical marijuana. (JM)