CLINTON TWP. (WWJ) - Plans for a major medical marijuana dispensary in Clinton Township have gone up in smoke.
Township Supervisor Bob Cannon says he had hoped to eliminate a blighted shopping plaza at 16 Mile Road and Groesbeck with redevelopment to include a pot shop, but residents who live in nearby condos did not want such a business in their neighborhood.
"There's a developer who's willing to put about $18 million into it; and I saw the plan, it's a beautiful plan," he said. "But in return he needs to be able to support it with a medical marijuana dispensary."
Cannon said he's withdrawing his support as he just doesn't have the votes on the board to pass it, regardless of the potential economic impact.
"We gathered as much information as we possibly could from those who were in favor of it, and those who were opposed to it," he said, telling WWJ's Sandra McNeill that he frankly learned a lot.
"I didn't tell anyone at the time but I was definitely against medical marijuana being in out community at that time," Cannon said. "However, as we gathered more information from doctors, attorneys, patients and others I changed my tune about medical marijuana, and became in favor of medical marijuana for our community."
After the recreational law passed in the state, Cannon said that type of business was considered too, and voted down.
This does not mean, necessarily, that it's a dead issue. While he won't personally be pushing it, Cannon said residents who want to see the substance for sale in the township could bring it to the public to decide.
"The law does provide that if people want to get a petition drive going and have a referendum on the next ballot, which may be in Macomb County in November of this year, all they need are 2,093 signatures out of the 100,000-plus residents who live here and they could put it on the ballot," Cannon said. "And they in the petition can decide how many facilities we have in Clinton Township, both either recreational and/or medical, and it would be a vote of the people."
Cannon noted that had an ordinance passed it would have allowed the township to control the number of dispensaries as well where they would be located.
Under the new Michigan law passed in November, adults age 21 and up can have up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of the drug on them and up to 10 ounces (284 grams) at home. It also allows users to grow up to 12 plants in their homes. Once retail sales are in place, the state will collect taxes on marijuana sales to fund road repairs.
Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2008.