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Shelby Township Adopts Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Growth Facility Moratorium

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A moratorium regarding facilities associated with dispensing, selling or growing medical marijuana in Shelby Township was approved unanimously by the board of trustees on Feb. 17.

"The purpose of this moratorium is to give the township an opportunity to regulate our ordinances regarding dispensaries, which includes the growth and sale of marijuana," said township attorney Rob Huth. "Right now, we are not in a position to regulate marijuana use and sale in the township. This will give us an opportunity to do that."

According to township Supervisor Richard Stathakis, the need for the moratorium stems from a voter referendum in 2008 that approved the use of medical marijuana.

"In the years since the referendum was approved, state regulations have not addressed the appropriate land uses that can be associated with the activities," Stathakis said. "And since many of the activities were illegal under state and federal law until the referendum and were not permitted in any zoning classification, Police Chief Robert Shelide requested the board of trustees discuss possibly imposing a moratorium on certain land uses related to medical marijuana in order to review and implement revised land use ordinances addressing the proper location(s) and regulations for such activities."

According to township officials, the moratorium focuses on permits, approvals, certificates and/or licenses for the sale and/or dispensation of medical marijuana and for all medical marijuana facilities, including, but not limited to, medical marijuana growing or use facilities in order to review and implement revised land use ordinances addressing the regulation of dispensaries.

"Part of the problem we have with this drug is with the people that are growing it locally," said Shelby Township Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski. "They have a license to grow it and they need 24/7, 365 days a year climate control. They are augmenting their electrical systems and are adding services to their houses without getting proper permits or inspections.

"With the mix of chemicals that they use, they do not have proper ventilation, some of them are hurting themselves. All of this can be prevented with a proper ordinance to ensure that this activity is conducted in a safe and responsible manner."

In addition to issues associated with the technical aspects of the grow operations, Shelide also cited concerns that unregulated operations for growth and dispensation could contribute to illicit drug activity.

"I do not want this pollutant in our community; 99.9 percent of those with marijuana in the township are buying and selling it illegally," he said. "It creates havoc within families; it creates an urge to try other drugs and that can potentially lead to deaths. Within our experience of our investigations, we do not want this in our communities."

Stathakis said the township board of trustees will work with township attorneys during the period of the moratorium to draft ordinance amendments that address rapidly changing laws with respect to marijuana in Michigan.

"Whether it's the full support the board has shown for the police department's DARE program or it's Narcotics Unit, or the way the board joined with local families in the fight against synthetic drugs in our community, the message remains the same," Stathakis said. "We, as a board, are steadfast against illicit drugs and the harm they pose to our community, our neighbors and our families."



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must be nice to decide to ignore the law,lots of bars and a casino in Shelby twp. HUGE morale problems with people medicating though, don't want you spending gambling money on meds, and mix of chemicals without ventilation? think maybe confusing with a meth lab? oh well drugs a drug right? bet this tick is looking for a long carrer as a politican.

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