LIMA TOWNSHIP: Board extends medical marijuana moratorium

The Lima Township Board of Trustees met Monday night and voted to extend a moratorium on a proposed medical marijuana ordinance.

The extension is for six months, which was the same as the previous moratorium. This means growing and dispensing marijuana for medical use is on hold, despite Michigan state law.

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was passed in 2008 and allows for the growing and dispensing of marijuana for medicinal use.

Township Supervisor Ken Unterbrink said the township could postpone enacting the state law for another three years, if necessary.

“Two years is an accepted time,” Unterbrink said. “Three years is even an accepted time.”

The moratorium was enacted so the planning commission has time to create an ordinance regulating the growing and distribution of marijuana.

“The planning commission is working diligently to get this done,” Unterbrink said.

Lima Township is also working with neighboring townships to potentially create a viable ordinance, Unterbrink said.

The townships involved include Scio Township, Webster Township, Dexter Township and the Village of Dexter.

Unterbrink said the goal of working with other townships is not to create a uniform law, but to “share views and ideas.”

“Each municipality has its own set of unique characteristics that they might want to put in to the ordinance,” he said. “They decided to work together but not necessarily have the same ordinance.”

According to Unterbrink, the challenge comes from the changes occurring at the state level as to how to enact the law.

“Right now with the growing of that product and also dispensaries, there’s quite a bit of controversy around the state,” he said. “State legislature is even looking into changing it as we speak, in some way or another.”

In other board news:

The Board also scheduled two public hearings for 7 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. June 13.

The first hearing is to discuss the revised draft of the Truck Routes Ordinance.

The second is to discuss the Home-Based Business Ordinance as a special use. Both meetings will be held at the Lima Township Hall.

The next meeting will also be held June 13 at the Lima Township Hall, following the public hearings.