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Local leader works for state regulators

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Ingham Township Trustee David Harns voted to ban recreational marijuana sales in his rural community.

Not everyone there supports the business side of the industry, he said. And he might understand the market more than most. Harns is also the spokesman for Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The agency for years has been charged with regulating the statewide licensing process for the entire industry. “It’s actually quite easy to wear the two hats,” Harns explained. “The roles hardly ever intersect — let alone conflict. I’d say that my role as a state employee has actually allowed me to do a better job on the township board, since I have learned how different parts of government work in concert with each other.” Harns said local, township issues like budgets, roads and emergency services have no bearing on his public relations role at the state department. But he does keep a sharp eye out for any potential conflicts that may arise. He also said he has no personal interests in any marijuana-related business ventures across the state.

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