Carp Lake says no to Marijuana

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette Carp Lake Township Board adopted an ordinance to prohibit a business to sell recreational Marijuana within it’s Township. From left, pictured are Micah Brown, Nancy Reath, Homer Colclasure, Cynthia Walworth and Tonya Panveno.

Carp Lake Township, which includes the communities of White Pine and Silver City in Ontonagon County, said no to allow Recreational Marijuana dispensaries in a meeting earlier this month. The township board was unanimous in its decision.

Unlike the standing room-only crowd of a year ago pushing the town board to not allow a medical marijuana business to locate in the former White Pine Mall, only a handful of residents were at a Tuesday, May 7, meeting. None of those residents were in attendance to voice an opinion on establishing the prohibition ordinance on a recreational marijuana business to operate in its township.

“Our Township voters voted ‘no’ to legalizing recreational marijuana. It’s obvious they don’t want it in our Township,” said Township Supervisor Homer Colclasure.

Township treasurer Cynthia Walworth told the Gazette that there was a small group that was pushing for a medical marijuana business a year ago, “but the majority of the people at that meeting did not want a medical marijuana business, so we know they sure don’t want a recreational marijuana business.”

The township does allow for a medical marijuana business to be located in its Industrial Park, but nowhere else within the township.

Nancy Reath, township clerk, explained how Carp Lake Township needed to vote to opt out of allowing recreational marijuana business through a township ordinance.

“If we don’t establish an ordinance, anyone can come and open up a store for recreational marijuana,” she said.

The page and a half ordinance states, “Carp Lake Township hereby prohibits all recreational marijuana establishments within the boundaries of the township pursuant to Initiated Law 1 of 2018, MCL 333.27951.” The ordinance defines the violations and penalties.

“Carp Lake Township has a lot of recreational opportunities,” Walworth said. “Located in the (Ottawa) National Forest, (Porcupine Mountains) State Park, Lake Superior Shoreline, fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, 4-wheeling, snowmobiling…that’s what we’re about.”

This was evident by much of the board meeting going over work being done by the board and members of the recreation committee. Colclasure talked about new picnic tables and the May 1 opening of Green Park. Walworth talked about putting up signs depicting the distance people walk around town, along with the community getting other exercise equipment. A resident went over establishing a connecting hiking trail from the Porkies to Hurley and eventually to central Wisconsin.

While there was no debate on prohibiting a marijuana dispensary in the township, most of the discussion dealt with an informative presentation from Jim Koskiniemi of UP Engineering going over the White Pine Water and Septic System upgrades. Joining in that discussion was Ron Weiner, lagoon manager, going over the amount of water in the lagoon system.

The topic and eventual vote from the board took about two minutes before the unanimous vote. The rest of the meeting went close to 90 minutes.

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