Penn Township Residents Voice Concerns Over Cannabis Farms

September 13th, 2023 Legislation & Policy Updates
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During a Planning Board meeting, concerns of local residents intensified as recreational marijuana growers establish operations in the township.

Residents raised various apprehensions, primarily about the odor, health implications, and potential property value decline due to marijuana cultivation. The Cass County meeting saw escalating tensions since recreational marijuana cultivation was permitted in Penn Township. Many residents have been outspoken about their reservations.

From the onset, the relationship between the growers and the community has been strained. Mike Biesboer of 'Friends of Penn Township' stated, "The overwhelming odor reminiscent of a skunk is the primary concern. It affects health and, recently, concerns about crop dusters have emerged as a safety issue. These are the matters we are anxious about."

In response to the growing concerns, the community initiated the 'Friends of Penn Township' to safeguard the township's quality of life. They have been consistently attending the board meetings for several months, urging the township board to act on their concerns.

Mike Biesboer expressed the community's frustration, saying, "It's been 12 months, and it feels like the board hasn't listened to us. Not once have they voted in favor of the residents on marijuana-related matters."

While the Planning Board aims to pass an amendment on medical marijuana with restrictions similar to recreational policies, 'Friends of Penn Township' does not support it. They conveyed that they feel unheard, leaving them with a single course of action. Biesboer emphasizes, "We'll continue to attend meetings, urge residents to participate, and persistently request change."

The subsequent Penn Township board meeting is scheduled for October 9th.

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