Township votes to change zoning laws to allow marijuana companie - WNEM TV 5

Township votes to change zoning laws to allow marijuana companies in

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BANGOR TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

A proposed multi-million dollar investment could provide dozens of new jobs in one township.

However, not everyone is thrilled about the new plan to open a major marijuana growing operation in Mid-Michigan.

Bangor Township in Bay County could soon be a haven for marijuana companies looking to open up shop in Mid-Michigan.

"To be here in our township, where marijuana will be grown and distributed in various forms, I'm just not for that," said Dot Rifenbark, resident.

Township Supervisor Glenn Rowley said he's for it. He said he's already been approached by marijuana companies big and small who are ready to invest money in the area.

It's an area that is struggling to keep businesses from leaving.

Rowley said at least one company want to invest $21 million and turn the old Dow Chemical building into a grow and distribution facility. It would create 140 jobs. Rowley said that is an opportunity the township can't pass up.

"What other people are coming to Bangor Township and saying, 'Hey, we want to invest an obscene amount of money, employ your people and bring in some much needed tax revenue?' I haven't gotten a call from Ford saying 'we want to build cars or engines here. Can you hook us up,'" Rowley said.

Factories like the old Dow Chemical plant are a thing of the past and surely have seen better days. That's why township officials are hoping the booming marijuana industry is the key to unlocking new business.

Rifenbark called the plan a bad idea. She said not only is marijuana still illegal at the federal level, but it's a drug and a bad example for kids.

"For decades now we've been telling our young people, just say no to drugs. But now it seems that oh maybe you should say yes if it means your dad will have a better job. Or your uncle will be able to make more money because it's his property they're buying," Rifenbark said.

At Tuesday's board meeting the members voted unanimously to update the zoning laws, allowing marijuana companies into the township.

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