Watson Township officials want to have at least one serious public forum about adopting an ordinance permitting medical marijuana facilities.
The Township Board, meeting less than 24 hours after a special joint session with the Planning Commission, indicated a strong interest in getting as much public input as possible while it deliberates on crafting an ordinance that would allow facilities for growing, processing, dispensing and transporting medical cannabis.
Trustee Michelle Harris at first proposed sending the April newsletter out to residents and then having the meeting on the first Thursday in May, but other local officials said they prefer meeting even sooner. Harris said she believes it’s critical to get as much public opinion as possible before a proposed ordinance can be crafted. An informal survey already has been conducted, but it could be very limited in getting a variety of opinions.
Watson is the first municipality in northwest Allegan County to consider such an ordinance after the State Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a measure that permits local municipalities to decide whether to allow medi
cal marijuana dispensaries within their borders.
Several inquiries have been made about setting up business operations and the Plan Commission and Township Board Wednesday had lengthy discussions.
Setting a date for a public meeting on the issue was tabled, however.
In other business at Thursday night’s meetings, the Township Board:
• Approved a suggestion from Supervisor Kevin Travis to have students from Allegan, Hopkins, Martin and Otsego schools submit proposed logos drawn for the township.
Travis said he envisions a logo, “As a way to pull the community together, to give us a brand we can relate to… It’s hard to build a sense of community” when Watson has residents in four school districts and four different ZIP codes.
The contest would be open to all high school students who live in Watson Township.
Allegan County Commissioner Gale Dugan personally gifted the township $15 in seed money for a prize for the logo contest winner and each of the five Township Board members pledged $10 themselves.
• Authorized Trustee Chuck Andrysiak to check with the Michigan DNR or DEQ to see if the water quality near the old landfill on 115th Avenue is up to standards.