New Firetruck in Jackson County Funded Entirely by Cannabis Revenue

April 25th, 2024 Business & Industry
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Leoni Township in Jackson County, Michigan, is set to enhance its fire safety capabilities with a new firetruck funded by cannabis tax revenue. The township's Board of Trustees has approved the purchase of a 2000-gallon tanker truck from Rosenbauer Fire Apparatus, utilizing $842,000 from the Marijuana Excise Tax funds. This decision aligns with the Board's intent to use the tax funds for the benefit of the entire community, as emphasized in the township's recent spring newsletter.

Leoni Township, which hosts the highest number of marijuana dispensaries in Jackson County with ten licensed facilities, collected over $590,000 in cannabis tax revenue in 2023 alone. This substantial sum, derived from state treasury records, marks a significant contribution to local public funding.

The township's ability to fund the firetruck purchase without a public millage represents a notable shift in local financial strategy, offering a cost-effective solution by avoiding additional fees and interest. Mike Jester, the Leoni Township Administrator, highlighted the benefits of this approach, noting the long-term savings and the avoidance of direct financial requests to the public.

The new truck, expected to be delivered in May 2025, is slightly smaller than the units acquired in 2017 but represents a substantial upgrade over the existing 65-foot ladder truck, which is nearing the end of its operational life. According to Scott Grajewski, Public Safety Director for Blackman-Leoni Township, while the current ladder truck remains functional, its future reliability is uncertain. The addition of the new truck is anticipated to significantly boost the township's and the broader county's fire response capabilities, particularly given the frequency with which Leoni Township assists neighboring areas with large fires.

This investment not only underscores the township's commitment to enhancing public safety infrastructure but also demonstrates the tangible benefits of cannabis tax revenues in supporting critical local services.

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