Ypsilanti Township’s Zoning Ordinance of Medical Marijuana Caregivers Upheld by the Washtenaw County Circuit Court
In a case with potential impact in many communities around Michigan a Washtenaw County Circuit Court judge has ruled that a township may enact zoning ordinances that regulate medical marijuana caregiver operations. The case will be looked at by other cities and townships that may want to regulate the specific areas of their communities in which marijauana is legally grown.
In this case arising in Ypsilanti Township, the Township sued to stop a couple from maintaining a marijuana nursery that was found to have been releasing noxious fumes into the neighborhood. Ypsilanti Township has an ordinance prohibiting the release of noxious fumes.
The couple challenged the allegation that the nursery was not properly ventilated but Judge Archie Brown found evidence that the nursery’s odor was causing a nuisance.
The Township also has zoning ordinances that prohibits caregivers from growing more than 12 plants in a residential area. Caregivers may grow up to 72 plants in areas designated for light industry.
The couple argued that the Township’s zoning ordinance was unconstitutional due to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. The Michigan Supreme Court recently ruled in Ter Beek v. City of Wyoming that cities could not ban medical marijuana.
Judge Brown disagreed with that argument. “In the instant case the township’s ordinance does not ban all uses under the MMMA. The ordinance merely regulates where caregivers do business,” Judge Archie Brown wrote. “The township ordinance does not conflict with the MMMA as all uses of the MMMA are permitted under the township ordinance.”
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