By Alex Mitchell
Holt Journal staff writer
The Delhi Charter Township Planning Commission met Monday night and unanimously approved proposed amendments to Ordinance 39 regarding medical marijuana.
While the committee had already decided it would prohibit dispensaries, the amendments covered preventing cooperative growing, restricting signs advertising the growth and/or sale of marijuana and setting guidelines for protecting the privacy of medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.
The completed ordinance allows caregivers to grow in their home for no more than the maximum five patients legally allowed per caregiver. Caregivers may not combine their grow operations, and all growing must be done in an enclosed building. According to the ordinance, caregivers must be the ones to transport their product to their qualified patients.
While members of the commission stated their satisfaction over finally having this ordinance in place, some were quick to point out that what is set in place may need to be amended in the near future due to Michigan’s young and somewhat loosely defined medical marijuana law.
“Even as we go through this process, the law is being refined,” said planning commissioner Ken O’Hara during the meeting.
Many members of the commission expressed frustration with Michigan’s medical marijuana law, calling it vague and confusing.
Planning Commissioner Donald Leaf said that the law is poorly constructed and wasn’t well defined when presented to voters in 2008.
“I voted for it and I don’t think I understood it,” said Leaf during the meeting.
Leaf also expressed concern over other areas of the state’s law.
“One of the concerns we all have is there is no control of the quality of the product,” said Leaf during the meeting.
However, Planning Commissioner James Weaver disputed Leaf’s statement by comparing growing medical marijuana to other home occupations.
“We don’t look at the product of any other home occupation and say if that’s a good or bad product,” said Weaver.
The ordinance passed with no comment from the public as very few community members attended.
“I thought more people would be here tonight over their concerns on how we were going to control the growing and distribution of marijuana in the community, but obviously those who have read it are satisfied with the direction we are going,” said Leaf after the meeting.
O’Hara applauded the committee for its extensive research into the law and the culture of medical marijuana, which he said helped create the best guidelines for the Delhi Township community. O’Hara also pointed out that Delhi’s ordinance is nothing new when compared to those in surrounding communities.
“Many other communities have very similar ordinances to the one we adopted tonight,” said O’Hara after the meeting. “This is almost a typical type of ordinance as opposed to Lansing where they do allow dispensaries.”
The only other item on the agenda was the proposed rezoning of 2509 Eaton Rapids Road, Lansing, Mich. from A1 agricultural to C2 general business, which the commission approved unanimously. The owner plans to open a used car lot there in the future.