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Cities across West Michigan take a stance on recreational marijuana businesses

In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, photo, a worker weighs a sample of marijuana for inventory purposes at Utopia Gardens, a medical marijuana dispensary, in Detroit. Michigan and North Dakota, where voters previously authorized medical marijuana, will decide now if the drug should be legal for any adult 21 and older. They would become the 10th and 11th states to legalize so-called recreational marijuana since 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Though voters passed Proposal 1 in the November elections, cities and townships have the ability to ban businesses that want to sell recreational marijuana. Several in West Michigan are moving in that direction.

Portage has passed a moratorium to block recreational businesses for now, but that could change once they have time to study the effects and once the city is able to establish regulations.

The Niles City Council also voted in a ban that would keep businesses from allowing the sales of recreational marijuana to be sold inside the city limits. Much like Portage officials, Niles leaders said that down the road marijuana sales could become legal.

Ross Township also has joined the group of areas banning marijuana sales. As a community, township residents voted against the legalization in the November election, but ultimately the proposal did pass state-wide.

Grand Rapids Township voted on a local ordinance Dec 4. The city of Battle Creek has yet to make a decision.

While some cities and townships have worked quickly to draw up ordinances, the Michigan Municipal league wants to help local governments make educated decisions moving forward. Matt Bach, the league's director of communications, issued the following statement: “While the Michigan Municipal League has not taken a position on the recreational marijuana issue, we are actively providing training and information to our member communities regarding the topic. We’ve also created a detailed white paper that aims to assist member communities on this issue.”

Recreational marijuana will become legal Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Here is what you need to know when it becomes legal.

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