Crockery Twp. holds off on pot facilities ban

Alexander Sinn • Dec 6, 2018 at 9:00 AM

CROCKERY TWP. — Crockery Township is holding off on considering a ban on recreational marijuana facilities, making it the lone holdout in Ottawa County.

Last month, voters in the cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg were in favor of legalization, but both cities have since adopted ordinances to ban facilities and public use.

Voters in Crockery Township said yes to recreational pot with 52 percent in support, according to Township Supervisor Leon Stille. However, the township’s two precincts were split, with one voting yes and one saying no.

Stille said the Township Board is taking a “wait and see” approach to recreational pot, as the Michigan Legislature crafts policies and prepares a licensing system for businesses in the new industry.

“We pretty much have a year to make a decision on this,” Stille said. “It doesn’t have to be done immediately. We thought it would be wise to wait and see how everything plays out.”

Crockery is the lone municipality in the county that opted in on medical marijuana facilities, allowing two dispensaries, two growers and one transporter, testing center and processor per facility. Emerald City Provisioning on M-104 is the only such business currently operating in the township.

The licensing process through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has proven a tangled web to navigate, Stille said, which has discouraged several business interests.

“We’ve had a number of people that have kicked the can around,” he said, “but when they find out what is necessary, they pretty much have given up.”

It hasn’t been easy going as of late for Emerald City, either. According to the business' Facebook page, legislation recently threatened to shut down businesses, like the dispensary, that operate with temporary operating permits.

A Facebook post in October encouraged patients with transportation limitations to stock up on marijuana products, but temporary permits have been extended as of Nov. 13.

Stille said the township has not received any public comments regarding the presence of a marijuana dispensary. He did not criticize other municipalities’ decisions to ban facilities, but said it was important to consider the voters’ decision on Nov. 6.

“We have a bit of responsibility to at least totally consider what the voters said,” he said.

Grand Haven Township is in the process of banning facilities. Voters there rejected the ballot initiative, as did Ottawa County as a whole.

The Spring Lake Township Board will vote on an ordinance at its Dec. 10 meeting. In southern Muskegon County, Norton Shores and Fruitport Township also plan to opt out.

Use and possession of marijuana became legal today (Thursday), as adults age 21 and older can now carry up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of concentrate, keep up to 10 ounces at home, and grow up to 12 plants at home.

Use and possession of marijuana, and growing plants at home, are not illegal in municipalities that have banned facilities.

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