Wyandotte Officials Place Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Facilities
City Council members voted unanimously Monday night to keep any pot shops from opening in town.
Wyandotte officials followed through Monday night on an earlier promise of doing whatever they can to keep medical marijuana facilities from opening in the city.
City officials voted unanimously in August to enact a moratorium on issuing any certificates of occupancies for medical marijuana facilities until the Michigan Court of Appeals makes a ruling on their legality.
At that time, they directed City Attorney William Look to draft a city ordinance regarding the moratorium. That ordinance was unanimously approved Monday night.
The ordinance acknowledges the fact that Michigan voters have approved the use of medical marijuana, but said questions still linger over the enforceability of that state law considering that federal law still prohibits the use of marijuana.
"Issues have been raised on whether local governments risk federal sanctions by affirmatively authorizing activities allowed by the state initiative," the resolution reads. "There are a number of unanswered issues and gaps that have been created."
The resolution goes on to say that "increased criminal activity and exposure of marijuana to minors" have arisen in another state that permits medical marijuana.
City Engineer Mark Kowalewski said the city's safest bet is to wait for the Michigan court system to weigh in on the matter.
“The Michigan Court of Appeals has recently made a ruling on the regulation of medical marijuana by cities,” Kowalewski said. “There is also another case scheduled to go before another panel of the Michigan Court of Appeals on this issue. It is my recommendation that a moratorium be adopted concerning any application for a certificate of occupancy for a medical marijuana facility until further clarification on the law may be received and to allow the city to consider the necessity of licensing and making amendments to the zoning ordinance concerning locations of the facilities.”
About five medical marijuana facilities have applied to open in Wyandotte and all have been denied, Kowalewski said.