Township turns down medical marijuana distribution act - WNEM TV 5

Township turns down medical marijuana distribution act

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It already put itself on the marijuana map after hosting a major cannabis themed celebration.

Now a township's plan to further invest in the industry may be up in smoke after a vote on the subject.

Vienna Township voted unanimously on Monday against act 281, which means they said no to allowing the growth and distribution of medical marijuana in the township.

"To have the board unanimous is always a good thing," said Cynthia Bryan, township clerk.

All seven members of the township's board voted against the act.

Bryan said the issue was thoroughly thought out.

"We don't take any item lightly, but this is a hot button issue with a lot of municipalities. But we did put a lot of thought into it," Bryan said.

Both sides were laid out on the table while the act was up for vote.

Joseph Rizk, township supervisor, weighed both sides starting with the potential positive effects.

"The amount of money that would be generated to come back into the municipality," Rizk said.

He said the biggest concern outweighed that.

"I'm sure there's a certain criminal element that might be involved, not necessarily the people that are producing or selling. But by people who realize it might be a cash transaction," Rizk said.

Even with that, Bryan said a big reason why the board voted no was because of the lack of clarity in how the act was drafted.

"We know the state has a lot of work to do on it and I don't think we were comfortable saying yes, we're going to opt in to something that has that many questions," Bryan said.

She added even though opting out was the outcome of Monday night's meeting, the future of act 281 and its place in Vienna Township is certainly not set in stone.

"To say it's an absolute deal is not true. It could come back in front of this board again if things change," Bryan said.

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