VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Michigan (WJRT) - (07/10/17) - "I do believe this is not the end game, " noted Joe Dewitte following Monday's vote, "Some townships are leaders and some are followers."
Not everyone is on board with Vienna Township's decision to not allow medical marihuana facilities to be licensed.
All seven board members voted no, and at least one local businessman is calling this a missed opportunity.
The vote was unanimous the Board will not "opt in" and draft an ordinance allowing for the licensing of medical marihuana facilities in Vienna Township.
"The state may come up with something that makes us either modify our agreements - they've got to get active --the state has to move forward," said Township Supervisor Joseph Rizk.
"I don't think we would be a very good board by saying sure let's just jump into it for the money when we have all these other questions that we cannot get answers to," noted Township Clerk Cynthia Bryan.
Bryan says the board may re-visit the issue after they get more clarity from the state on how the industry is going to regulated.
During the public comment, which followed the vote, two local business leaders took to the podium urging the board to appoint a committee to fully research the pros and cons of opting in before taking a vote:
"It just seems there are too many what if's," remarked Bob Bernhoft. "We believe it's coming and its something that cannot be ignored."
"Let us not hastily pass up what could turn out to be an incredible opportunity here," noted Joe Dewitte.
Dewitte, who leases out his Auto City Event Center for the pro-marijuana event Cannabis Cup every year, calls tonight's vote a missed opportunity.
"I'm very disappointed right now because Vienna Township does have the where-with-all and the ability to police this properly and be a blue print and a poster child to the industry as a whole," he said.
Absent on Monday night where all those who spoke out against licensing facilities at the June 26 public hearing.
Dewitte says he believes the board had already made up it's mind:
"We feel that there's so much more to learn, that it wasn't the best informed decision they could have made at this time,"
Dewitte, who's not opposed to the idea of financing a grow operation, says he's been invited to meet with every board member one-on-one to discuss with them what's he's learned about the industry.