Courier-Leader, Paw Paw Flashes, & South Haven Beacon News

Arlington Township Board Approves two marijuana related resolutions

ARLINGTON TOWNSHIP – The Arlington Township Board, Wednesday, May 15, approved two marijuana-related resolutions.
The first resolution reduced the price of a marijuana license application from $5,000 to $2,500, while the second resolution deals with fines and costs for violations.
Contacted after the meeting, Arlington Township Board member Ron Klein provided The Courier-Leader with information on the two resolutions.
Arlington Township voters went to the polls and voted “no” to opting in to allow marijuana in the township. Klein said despite the vote, the township board “jumped on the bandwagon” to cash in on marijuana license fees and a percentage of shared taxes with the state. Approximately 20 percent of the first licenses issued by the State of Michigan; 100 licenses, one license per 20 residents, landed in Arlington Township.
Klein said with that, investors made their way to Arlington Township, where they were offered inexpensive land, limited regulations, and generous accommodation.
“Promises were made, ordinances hastily assembled, and the township became preoccupied and divided,” said Klein.
There were two obvious facts in state statutes and rules that were not “appreciated,” according to Klein.
“The first, the shared tax only involved point of sale i.e., retail, and micro marijuana businesses, not the number of issued licenses, and second, licensing fees, capped by law at $5,000, were restricted and could only be used for administration and enforcement involving the licensed marijuana establishments,” said Klein
Arlington Township chose to charge $5,000 for each license application. Klein said with the change of the Arlington Township Board administration in 2020, the marijuana ordinances were organized and immediately rewritten. The restricted license fees that had been placed in the general fund were accounted for and deposited in dedicated accounts, according to Klein. Lawsuits that were filed against the township were settled.
The township began to work with the Cannabis Regulatory Agency CRA) and evaluated the reality of maturing policies and evolving economics. Several tasks remained. Klein said the Arlington Township Board of Trustees challenged itself asking; “What were the costs for administration and enforcement and the basis for the license fee?” With the license fees placed in appropriate accounts detailed and responsible budget analysis could be assessed, and based on those facts, resolution was then proposed to cut the fee per license to $2,500. In approving the resolution by a majority vote, Arlington Township is in compliance with the CRA which also cut licensing fees.
The second resolution, approved by the board by a majority vote, deals with fines and costs for violations. The resolution places full responsibility, and all fines and costs for violations on the holder of the license which is consistent with CRA policy. A $500 fine is imposed for each violation as per state statute. Each day the violation continues is considered a new violation and a fine up to $500 per day will be charged replacing the flat fee of $5,000 per day.

Leave a Reply