Fruitland Township will no longer depend on a moritoriam to prohibit the sale or dispensation of medical marihuana in the township.
Following a six-month moritorium passed in 2011, and three more six-month extensions and a two-month extension while the state courts deal with ambiguous portions of the law passed by voters in Nov, 2008, the township board last Tuesday night passed a Medical Marihuana Dispensary Ordinance.
“At this time we presented it (ordinance) to cease relying on a moritoriam,” Jan Deur, township trustee and planning commission member, told the township board.
Unlike some local units of government who’ve used ordinances to support the federal law which considers all marihuana illegal, Deur said Fruitland’s new ordinance does not challenge provisions in the State of Michigan’s medical marihuana law.
The ordinance will not prevent the dispensation of marihuana by a registered primary caregiver who is personally dispensing to not more than five registered qualified patients in strict accordance with the act so long as it is performed in a location and manner authorized by the ordinance.
It will also not prevent the smoking, consuming or ingesting of marihuana by a person authorized by the act or to prevent a person authorized by the act from possessing in an enclosed, locked facility an amount of medical marihuana authorized by the act.
However, the ordinance will not allow a person to operate a marihuana dispensary, collective club, cooperative growing facility, smokehouse, compassion center or other similar facility that meets the definition of marihuana dispensary.
The ordinance will not allow more than one primary caregiver to grow, process, handle or distribute medical marihuana from a given residential premises. Also, no apartment building, multi-family residential building or similar housing building or development may be used to grow and process medical marihuana.
A residence used for the growth and process of medical marihuana cannot be located less than 1,000 feet from any half-way house, correctional facility, college, trade or vocational school, public park, child daycare center, foster care center, school, church or library.
A violation of the ordinance is a municipal civil infraction and subject to fines.
Township Clerk Karolynn Rillema said the township currently has not designated the fines for a violation.
Deur said Fruitland’s planning commission drew upon provisions in ordinances from other township’s in developing it’s medical marihuana ordinance which was drafted by township attorney, Kevin Even.
“This is as good as it gets for a medical marihuana ordinance,” Deur said.
The ordinance was unanimously passed by board members present. Trustee Terrie Hampel was absent because she was attending a Michigan Townships Association convention.