Au Gres Twp. renews marijuana permits, implements inspecting agents

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Au GRES TWP. — The Au Gres Township Board of Trustees approved the renewal of permits for three medical marijuana facilities and the implementation of site inspectors for the facilities including two board members and one non-board member at its January meeting.

As of its last meeting, the board has approved the renewal of 10 facilities that have reached their one-year renewal date, township Clerk Mike Oxley said, while a little fewer than half of the total facilities have not reached their renewal date yet.

It was last reported in November that the township had accrued around $230,000 in revenue for its medical marijuana fund.

Since then, Oxley said the fund has gathered about $300,000 total from $500 application fees and $5,000 annual permit fees. So far, the funds have been used to publish notices of special hearings, but Oxley said the township is exploring ways to put the revenue back into the community and has already used some of the funds to cover past road projects.

“For Rumsey Road, we just transferred $35,000 from the marijuana fund to the road fund in order to pay the bill for the road work that we did this summer,” Oxley said, adding that the total cost of the road work was around $76,000.

Going forward, the main road project being explored by the township is the improvement of Point Au Gres Lane, Oxley said. Adding that residents could expect to see action in spring 2019.

Oxley said the approval of the implementation of inspecting agents within the township was, in some ways, in response to a fire that occurred at a facility off Shenfield Road earlier in the year and the desire to have a more immediate avenue to dealing with facility issues going forward.

Before if the township had a suspicion of wrongdoing, Oxley said the township would have to go through the state inspector and enforcing agent and then would likely have to wait sometime before anything could be done.

“If it’s something that is immediate, we need to have somebody that can go in,” Oxley said. “We need to be here for the community rather than just say, ‘We called the inspector, he’s not going to be here for two or three days.’”

Oxley explained that the township inspecting agents have permission to enter any facility within the township at any time, with the exception of a permitted caregiver, a private grower who provides marijuana to their own patients.

The Au Gres-Sims-Whitney Fire Department responded to a call Saturday, Nov. 17, regarding a fire at a medical marijuana growing facility in Au Gres Township off Shenfield Road.

No one was in the building during the fire, fire Chief Kurt Humerickhouse said in a Nov. 28 article, adding that because there were no injuries or suspicious aspects of the fire, the fire marshal was not called and the department is conducting no further investigation.

While the cause of the fire was undetermined, Humerickhouse said at the time the fire could have been caused by electrical issues due to the severity of the damage near the electric panel.

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