The Sylvan Township Board is continuing to investigate the idea of potentially allowing micro-marijuana businesses to set up in the township.
As part of this investigation, at its July 6th meeting, the community board received a presentation from community attorney Robert Thall, who gave an overview of what micro-businesses are.
From some background, Thall said he worked with other communities to help them set regulations regarding marijuana operations. He said in the world of legal adult marijuana use, the only area a community like Sylvan Township can regulate is with commercial establishments.
There are currently no facilities dedicated to medical marijuana and recreational marijuana allowed in Sylvan.
Thall said facilities are defined as places that either grow, process, sell, transport or test. Everyone has different roles and processes in adult marijuana delivery.
Thall said, however, that some of these can come together in the form of a micro-enterprise under one roof, which he described as vertically integrating cultivation, processing and retailing into one.
These farms are a smaller business in that they are limited to growing no more than 150 plants that they must use for processing and then retailing.
Another difference to micro-enterprises is that they are not limited to agricultural or industrial property under state law. The other establishments that devote themselves exclusively to cultivation or processing or testing are there.
Thall said it is up to the local board of directors to determine where a micro-enterprise can open a business, which could include an industrial park.
Across the state, some municipalities allow retail or micro-businesses because they can generate new revenue from the related excise tax that the state repays to the municipalities.
Thall said that a certain amount of taxpayer money will be returned to a community based on the number of retail or micro-businesses a community could have. Last year, he said the state had spent around $ 28,000 per retail or micro-business license allowed in a community. He said he saw some churches get around $ 400,000 back for this.
These other facilities, such as processing or cultivation or testing laboratories, are not subject to consumption tax but can create new jobs and convert commercial properties.
Another area a community can see revenue from is an application and an annual fee, which can be up to $ 5,000. However, these proceeds can only be used for the administration or enforcement of marijuana regulations.
According to Thall, in order to allow micro-businesses, the municipality must issue an ordinance on police violence, which, among other things, can determine what type of facilities are allowed and how many. There should also be a zoning ordinance to define and regulate where a branch can go.
It should be noted that the State of Michigan approves the licenses.
Sandie Schulze, trustee of the Sylvan Township Board, said the board needs to get a better idea of what this looks like in reality. She asked Thall if he could make some recommendations or suggestions about facilities they could visit to see firsthand exactly how those stores / facilities work.
Kurt Koseck, trustee of the board of directors, asked about the need for the fire department to review potential operations that use different chemicals, such as processing. Thall said this was something that could be part of the process the community is setting up.
Township leader Kathleen Kennedy said this was an ongoing discussion and she would now try to speak to the people involved to help them figure out what, if any, they could propose.