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Brandon Township voters will decide if a third area recreational marijuana business becomes part of the local landscape.
At a special meeting on Aug. 22 the township board voted 4-3 to approve ballot language for a proposed new ordinance to allow one recreational marijuana retailer to open in the township.
Trustees Dana Depalma and Kathy Thurman, Treasurer Scott Broughton and Clerk Roselyn Blair voted to approve.  Supervisor Jayson Rumball and Trustees Steve Unruh and Bob Marshall voted against.
Ortonville voters approved their own marijuana ordinance in August,  221 yes to 217 no, that allows two cannabis retailers to open within the village limits.
A group called Building a Better Brandon needed at least 378 signatures, or 5% of votes cast in the 2018 gubernatorial election, to get the proposal on the November ballot. They submitted 740 to Cclerk Roselyn Blair.
“I voted against it because I don’t believe in it,” said Rumball.  “Basically, (Ortonville) approved two (retail locations) and now they are trying to put another one in the township so we will have three dispensaries on a two mile stretch of M-15.”
The proposed township ordinance would repeal a current ordinance prohibiting recreational marijuana establishments.
Unlike Ortonville, which allows sales for three years and prevents the village council from making changes, Brandon could adopt a zoning ordinance that does not conflict with the provisions of the proposed ordinance.
Rumball said the group gathered double the number of signatures needed by soliciting outside polling precincts during the August election.
“They were sitting at the polls in our recent election harassing everyone that walked in,” Rumball.  “They were asking people on the way in and on the way out. They asked me four times when I went to vote.”
According to documents from Oakland County elections officials, Building a Better Brandon is based in Franklin and was formed on July 19, 2022.
Ben Riggan, Treasurer of the group, did not respond for comment.
Even with the large number of petition signatures, Rumball is not sure the proposal will pass.
“I personally don’t think it will, but it all depends on who comes out to vote,” said Rumball.  “Being a general election there will be more people coming out to vote and I think there are more people against it than for it.”
In the 2020 general election, Brandon had 73% turnout of 13,399 registered voters.
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