COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, MI — Medical marijuana facilities will not be allowed to open in Comstock Township.
In front of a large audience Monday, the Comstock Township Board of of Trustees voted 5-2 to opt-out of passing an ordinance that would allow state-licensed medical marijuana businesses to open in its jurisdiction. Trustees said Comstock could reverse its decision in the future, but for now patients will have to go elsewhere for their medicine.
New state laws regulating medical marijuana prompted communities across Michigan to decide how they will respond to the growing industry. Each municipality can decide for itself whether to pass an ordinance allowing the facilities to open, or not.
Trustee David Camburn and Bob Pratt voted against keeping medical marijuana businesses out of Comstock Township. Camburn said supporting the industry could have ancillary benefits like growing the tax base, attracting new residents and spurring economic activity.
Now, Camburn worries that Comstock will miss a surge of new investment. Those interested in starting businesses will go elsewhere to find their fortune, he said.
“I don’t think that people who want to invest in this industry are going to wait around,” he said. “Nearby communities are opting in and will get their business.”
However, some trustees felt uneasy that the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs took so long to release rules governing the regulation of medical marijuana facilities. The full set of rules were released Dec. 4, less than two weeks before facilities can apply to do business in Michigan.
Entrepreneurs can apply to operate one of five types of facilities on Dec. 15, and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will begin giving out 1-year renewable licenses during the first quarter of 2018.
Municipalities like the city of Kalamazoo decided to wait until the rules were