Shelby Township ordinances crack down on medical marijuana, moving them out of neighborhoods

It is still legal to grow marijuana - but now what matters is where.

"Just because someone in a neighborhood and they choose to engage in this nonsense, shouldn't make someone's life difficult or their house less desirable," said Rick Stathakis. 

Stathakis, the Shelby Township supervisor, was not holding back when it comes marijuana grow houses in Shelby Township.

Since 2008, when growing medical marijuana was legalized, he says Shelby Twp. started receiving countless resident complaints about, odor, noise from multiple air condition units needed to grow, power outages and even fires. 

Officials haven't been able to do anything about it, until now.

"It gave us the power to make sure marijuana growing activities do not infringe on a neighbor's rights and property," he said. 

Last April the Michigan Supreme Court decided municipalities can create ordinances that re-zone where caregivers can legally grow medical marijuana.

As of December, Shelby Township can now force grow operations to move out of residential neighborhoods and into industrial zones. Township attorney Rob Huth helped create the ordinance.

"It is very unlikely someone can grow 72 plants without drawing the attention of the neighbors in the township, " Huh said. "Now they got our attention we know they are violating our ordinance and gave police and building department enforcement."

Growing 12 plants for personal use is still legal and Huth says it will be very easy to monitor since Shelby Township now limits the electricity to 200 amps, usually needed at a residential property. 

"Oftentimes these folks try to hijack electricity from DTE so they can wrap up so that observation opens the door for our police department to call up," Huth said.

For caregivers already growing for patients, or those posing as caregivers for commercial sale. They will be forced to move their operations to industrial zones when they go to renew their permit.

Stathakis says so far they have shut down 10 illegal grow operations and the community is on their side.

"The board of trustees doing something is great, but doing with residents is powerful," he said.