SAGINAW TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (12/3/2018) - Consuming and carrying small amounts of marijuana will become legal in Saginaw Township -- and all of Michigan -- on Thursday, but selling it commercially will not.
The township is joining a growing list of municipalities prohibiting commercial marijuana businesses in their boundaries. That follows the township's decision two years ago not to allow medical marihuana businesses either.
"Two years later, we haven't heard any indication from the elected or appointed officials that adopt ordinances that state they would want to change course on that," said Steve King, the community development director for Saginaw Township.
He said the township planning commission will be asked this week to schedule a public hearing next month for a zoning ordinance change that will prohibit licensed marijuana facilities in Saginaw Township.
"Our position right now is that the township should stick consistently with its previous policy stance and not allow recreational marijuana facilities in our community," King said.
Saginaw Township voters passed Proposal 1, which was approved to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan, by a small margin.
King said the township will have no say over a person 21 years or older using marijuana, but a governmental entity can opt out of allowing marijuana-related businesses in their communities.
"If the community does choose to opt out we have to react in a relatlively quick timeline," he said.
The new law requires the state to start licensing businesses in 2020, so people can't legally buy recreational marijuana in Michigan just yet. Only growing up to 12 plants at home, consuming it at home, carrying 10 ounces or less and giving away up to 2.5 ounces will be legal.
"I think we are ahead of the curve, but actually, I personally anticipate that most communities will probably opting out of allowing these facilities as well," King said.
King said the township could eventually change its mind.
"They can always go from not allowing facilities to allowing them," he said.