Meridian Township Reveals Plans For Regulating Recreational Marijuana Use
The Meridian Township Board discussed the creation of recreational marijuana ordinances for Meridian Township at their Feb. 7 regular meeting.
Attorney Matthew Kuschel said, “We are adding a new article to the chapter proposal that would allow and regulate marijuana for recreational use.”
The board was given a three-part plan for changing the recreational laws.
There are ordinances in place that have been in place since 2019 that say recreational marijuana businesses are not allowed. These ordinances need to be changed in order for recreational marijuana businesses to be allowed.
“The zoning ordinance would use the structures we already have,” said Tim Schmitt, who is in charge of Community Planning and Development.
“It would get rid of the parts that talk about medical marijuana.”
Schmitt said that the store can’t have any signs outside that say “marijuana” or “cannabis.”
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“The planning commission said that drive-through businesses couldn’t be within 2000 feet of any other business that we had licensed,” said Schmitt.
Schmitt said that, in addition to the other changes, there are some changes that need to be made to the medical licensing code to make it fit with the new rules.
“The actual application is very similar to what is in the medical ordinance, but the application process will be very different,” Kuschel said.
Kuschel said that a lottery that would normally be used for medical licenses can’t be used for recreational licenses if there are more than one application.
“How the board rates the applicants and what qualities are important to think about when deciding if they should work in this township are all competitive review factors,” Kuechel said. “A lot of these discussions would happen later or outside of the ordinance.”
One of the people with a medical permit is represented by Jamie Carmel. She said that they just got their license back and are now building up their marijuana business.
“We hope that will happen at the same time as an ordinance is passed and a license is given,” Carmel said. “Then we can start working toward our goal of promoting a thriving business here, with jobs, tax breaks, and all that good stuff.”
Before the ordinances are put into place in the township, the board plans to have a study session and another meeting to talk about them in more detail.