Proposal 1 – or what is now known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) – was approved by voters within the State of Michigan with about 57% of the vote. However, it is noted that the ballot measure failed in both Ottawa County and in Grand Haven Charter Township.
The elected officials from the Township (
and all other communities in Ottawa County) determined that the Township would adopt a police powers ordinance to “opt out” of the commercialization of marihuana by prohibiting marihuana establishments as defined under the MRTMA. (
A second zoning ordinance amendment that repeats the prohibition of marihuana facilities will also become part of the Township’s Zoning Ordinance.)
It is important to understand both what the “Opt-Out” ordinance prohibits and, also, what it does not prohibit. Specifically, the “Opt-Out” ordinance
Prohibit Individual Cultivation or Possession of Marihuana. The ordinance does not prohibit individual cultivation (
up to 12 plants within their home) or possession (
up to 2.5 ounces outside of home and 10 ounces within their home) of marihuana by people 21 years of age and older.
Prohibit Sale of Marihuana Accessories.
Prohibit Individual Use on Private Property. The Township cannot prohibit use by a person 21 years of age and older within that person’s property and cannot prohibit use of marihuana on private property where the owner, occupier or manager has not prohibited its use – and that is not accessible to people under 21 years of age. For example, a hookah lounge that sells marihuana accessories, as noted above in 2, but is not licensed to sell marihuana, would, as long as the business is restricted to people 21 years of age and older, be able to allow people to bring and use personal supplies of marihuana.
Prevent the Transfer of Marihuana. Residents may transfer marihuana – without remuneration – up to 2.5 ounces of marihuana and not more than 15 grams of marihuana concentrate to a person 21 years of age or older as long as the transfer is not advertised or promoted to the public (
e.g., friend to friend).
Prohibit Transportation of Marihuana. The Township cannot prohibit the transport of marihuana through the Township – regardless of whether the Township completely prohibits recreational marihuana establishments from locating in the Township.
The “Opt-Out” Ordinance
Completely Prohibit the Commercialization of Marihuana within the Township. By adopting the “Opt-Out” ordinance, the Board is prohibiting commercial establishments that produce or transport or sell marihuana within the Township′s municipal boundaries.
Disqualify the Township from any Marihuana Revenues Distributed by the State of Michigan. Approximately 15% of the 10% excise tax on marihuana sales will be distributed to local units that allow commercial marihuana establishments. For example, if a retail marihuana store located in the Township had $10,000 of retail sales every day, the Township would qualify for about $54,750 of revenues and a licensing fee of not more than $5,000. The $59,750 maximum revenues in this example represents about 4/10ths of 1% of gross Township revenues.
Because the MRTMA allows for local units to decide whether marihuana businesses can be located in their communities and because the Township voters rejected “Proposal 1”, the Township has taken a position that the negative consequences and costs associated with the commercialization of marihuana will likely outweigh the benefits — especially since the majority of the monies collected (
i.e., about 90%) will be directed toward schools and transportation regardless of whether the Township “opts-out”.