Coloma Township bans marijuana businesses

COLOMA — Those looking at possible marijuana business ventures in Coloma Township should look elsewhere, at least for now. 

The Coloma Township Board approved an ordinance Wednesday night prohibiting any type of marijuana facility within its limits. 

“That doesn’t mean it’s forever,” Township Supervisor Ken Parrigin said. “That’s why we’re doing (the ban), so we can see what the law is going to be in the next few years.”

Michigan’s recreational marijuana law went into effect in December and it gave the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs a year to come up with the regulations for recreational marijuana businesses and until it can begin issuing licenses for such businesses. 

Unlike Michigan’s medical marijuana law, the recreation law requires municipalities to opt out of allowing such facilities. 

Many are opting out now because if the state fails to put their rules into place within 12 months, somebody can apply straight to the municipality for a license. In that case they wouldn’t be regulated by the state, but rather by the municipality.

A few people in the audience Wednesday said they supported the decision, before the township board took a vote on it. However, no official comments were made. The ordinance was approved unanimously. 

In other business, the Township Board approved and swore in Wes Smigielski as the new Coloma Township police chief. 

Smigielski served as the department’s lieutenant until December, when he was named interim chief after the retirement of former chief Jason Roe. 

“We as a board think an awful lot of Wes and we look forward to working with him for the next few years. We think he’s a keeper,” Parrigin said. 

Smigielski has been a full-time officer with Coloma Township for four years. Before that, he spent some time as a part-time officer for the department. He was also a detective in Benton Harbor.

The Township Board additionally approved moving Brett Langston up to the rank of seargent in the department. 

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