Kalamazoo Township mulls recreational pot rules

Marijuana in MI

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Local governments throughout West Michigan are trying to figure out what to do next after voters approved recreational marijuana in the state.

At a meeting Monday, Kalamazoo Township trustees discussed a proposal to opt in to allowing recreational pot businesses.

Several trustees voiced concerned that the language planned for the regulations did not have all the specific restrictions reflected in the township’s rules for medical marijuana businesses. That includes a rule keeping facilities at least 500 feet apart from one another and establishing a distance of 1,000 feet from any school or library.

Ultimately, the trustees decided to table the issue and send it back to the planning commission for further fine tuning of the zoning regulations.

Kalamazoo Township Supervisor Don Martin said it is challenging for local municipalities to keep up because state regulators have recently been adding to the rules.

“That’s where we’re having the problem right now with the opting in because some of that stuff isn’t defined exactly how it’s supposed to be,” Martin said.

Township Manager Dexter Mitchell said the state has added several categories, like for designated consumption areas at sites and for the permitting of marijuana use at events.

The township has already seen growth in the medical marijuana industry.

“The licensing process has been out there for about 18 months and we currently have north of eight different medical marijuana facilities either open or in the process of opening,” Mitchell said.

The trustees are trying to keep regulations consistent between medical and recreational marijuana, but it is not yet known how many businesses will pursue solely a medical license or if they will choose the recreational option because a doctor’s prescription will not be required.

“What we’ve looked at is other states who have had recreational come in and medical tends to go down,” Mitchell said.

Township officials can choose to opt in at any time because they have already passed an ordinance to prevent the state from automatically opting them in.

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