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Greenland Township looks at marijuana

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette While Greenland Township will see the re-opening of Adventure Mountain Ski Hill, the public will comment as to whether they want marijuana businesses in their Ontonagon County Township at a public hearing on Dec. 23.

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic hurting many townships throughout the western Upper Peninsula, Greenland Township in northern Ontonagon County has been seeing progress this year.

While marijuana will be a big part of the discussion for greater Ontonagon County as it looks to recover from the pandemic, many other ideas are also in the works.

The Mountain Lions are bringing back downhill skiing at Adventure Mountain after decades of not having a rope tow. This past week a family from Oregon submitted an offer to buy and re-open Adventure Mountain Raceway. Pat’s Motorsports is expanding the Pat’s Heavy Equipment business. The Ontonagon County Fairgrounds, located in Greenland, will see changes to the fair buildings.

Now the question in front of the Greenland Township Board is do they want marijuana retail, producer, and cultivator businesses in their township?

On Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 10 a.m., the Planning and Zoning Commission of Greenland Township will conduct a public hearing. The public hearing will be at the Greenland Township Community Center, the former Greenland Elementary School.

The public hearing deals with amending a zoning ordinance to allow adult marijuana growers, processors, retailers, secure transporters, safety compliance facilities, and micro-businesses to locate in specific areas within the township.

According to a section in the proposed ordinance, no more than two of the above mentioned marijuana businesses would be allowed in the township. The ordinance also stipulates that no marijuana “event” or even an establishment where marijuana consumption would be allowed.

If the board adopts the ordinance upon support of the Planning and Zoning Commission, all applicants would have to meet Michigan state requirements and be “pre-qualified” by the state. The detailed ordinance states that the township opened up qualified applications on Dec. 1.

If the ordinance is adopted, the applicant and the license to operate will have one year to open for business. However the board will have the option to extend the opening for an additional five months.

The license criteria has 12 specific areas that the applicant and the issuance of the license will be based on.

The public can review the full ordinance by going to the Greenland Township Clerk Offices during regular office hours or regular office business days. The proposed ordinance can also be reviewed the day of the public hearing at the Greenland Township Community Center.

Written comments will also be accepted right up until 9 a.m. on Dec. 23. Written comments can either be dropped off at the clerk’s office or send too: Greenland Township Clerk, 1502 Mass Ave., Mass City, MI., 49948.

“The Greenland Township Planning and Zoning Commission and Township Board reserves the right to make changes in the proposed amendments at or following the public hearing,” said Township Clerk Corrie Kaarto.

Kaarto went on to state in the notice of the public hearing, “If in person public meetings are prohibited by orders of the state of Michigan or otherwise, the Planning and Zoning Commission may hold this meeting remotely in accordance with Public Act 228 of 2020.

“In such a case, the meeting attendance information will be posted on the township website at least 18 hours before the meeting.”

The public hearing is open to Greenland Township residents, property owners, and all those interested in this proposed ordinance.

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