Weigh in on Farmington Hills medical marijuana ordinance draft

Residents can weigh in Thursday on Farmington Hills zoning ordinance changes that would limit where qualified caregivers can grow marijuana.

City council members last fall asked the commission to review the rules for medical marijuana, after complaints about odors and noise in residential neighborhoods. Under Michigan law, medical marijuana caregivers can grow up to 72 plants for patients and themselves.

That amounts to about 90 ounces of marijuana per harvest, city attorney Steve Joppich said during a November study session. Some operations in the city “might be unlawful in terms of growing too many plants, and many of them may not be occupied as a single family residence,” he added.

The draft ordinance amendment includes findings that “the cultivation of 72 cannabis plants by primary caregivers in residential districts creates potential hazards and potential adverse and detrimental effects on the neighboring properties that endanger the public health, safety and welfare.”

While it does not affect personal use, the draft limits primary caregivers to operating on Light Industrial zoned lots. Among other provisions, each caregiver on the property may serve up to five qualifying patients, and up to five caregivers can share a lot. They would also be required to screen operations and control odors.

After the public hearing, commissioners will decide whether to forward the draft to city council members. The only other item on the 7:30 p.m. meeting agenda is presentation of the commission’s 2020 annual report.

To view the agenda, which includes instructions for watching and/or participating in the meeting, visit fhgov.com/Government/Agendas-Minutes/Planning-Commission/2021.aspx.

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