Medical Marijuana Facilities One Step Closer in Hazel Park

Medical Marijuana Facilities One Step Closer in Hazel Park

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Jan. 10, 2018)

Hazel Park, MI- Hazel Park is one step closer to being ready to accept applications for medical marijuana facility permits.

City Council voted Tuesday to accept the first reading of ordinance 01-18 to add Chapter 17.21 to the code, setting the rules for allowing such businesses to open in the city following the latest state guidelines. Councilmembers voted to allow up to four such businesses as a starting point, noting that they could amend the ordinance later to allow more if they want to.  Categories of businesses allowable under state law are: growers, manufacturers (processors), distributors (provisioning centers/dispensaries), transportation and testing facilities.

The ordinance must go through a second public reading, which is likely to take place at a special meeting within the coming weeks, though a date has not yet been set.

Once the ordinance passes it’s second reading, applicants can submit their application, site plan and signage plan to the City Clerk and the Building Department.

City Hall was standing room only, with many there interested in opening a business under the new state regulations.  City Attorney Janet Drumm addressed potential entrepreneurs, urging them to “please read the ordinance and the emergency rules by the state. Get an attorney. Don’t spend your money and apply for no reason.  Research, read and be prepared,” she said.  She said many of the applicants would find it hard to meet the criteria set by the state.

The ordinance goes into the specifics of where such facilities can go in the city based on zoning, as well as rules for security and for aesthetics.

The ordinance calls for only one sign on the front of the building of a provisioning center, no larger than 75 square feet that “shall not use the word marihauana/marijuana, cannabis, leaf, bud or any other word or phrase which would depict marihauana/marijuana; nor may pictures of a leaf or leaves, green cross or any other rendering which would depict marihauana/marijuana be displayed on a sign or any part of the building. Signs shall not be backlit.”

For all other marihauana facilities and grow operations signs cannot be more than 50 square feet and “limited to the name of the Lab, Corporation, Limited Liability Company or partnership and address only.”

All facilities are required to have a canopy or decorative awning over the entrances to the building.  Processing, secured transportation facilities and grow operations are required to have bay doors in which a secure transport vehicle can enter to deliver or pick up the marijuana.

The ordinance lists other requirements such as security equipment, sprinkler systems, ventilation systems, and other site requirements.

It also outlines the criteria by which applicants would be considered.  First site plans and applications are reviewed by the Planning Commission.  Then, if approved, they go before City Council.  There is a 12 point scoresheet for Council to use when ranking applicants’ plans, ranking 0-10 for each point.

1-Capitalization

2-Originality of building and design and meeting applicable design standards set forth herein

3-Landscape plan

4-Lighting plan

5-Adherence to all requirements set forth in Chapter 5.04

6-Waste disposal

7-Parking lot layout

8-Interrior design

9-Designation of alternative uses for property (building)

10-Community involvement

11-Business history with Hazel Park

12-Business history of applicant

Councilperson Amy Aubry addressed rumors of favoritism.  “I’ve been approached by business owners saying we’ve already decided who’s getting a license. There is going to be a process, written in black and white, and we will follow that,” Aubry said.

Councilperson Bethany Holland said that limiting the quantity to four was done with “an abundance of caution,” she said.  “I’m grateful we can provide this service in our community.  We’re starting with a small amount that can increase.  We want to get a handle on all this first.”

Mayor Mike Webb talked about why he changed his mind from opposing medical marijuana businesses to welcoming them.  “I got my mind changed by a 20 year old who was the child of a friend.  She was in an accident at the age of seven, with pins all through her body,” Webb said.  “The doctor didn’t want to prescribe opiates to her any more than she’s had. .. But I could see how marijuana helped.  Howe it eases the pain, and now she can work, she can go to college… I’ve seen other people as the discussions have progressed.  I’ve seen it work, so it changed my mind.”

According to Cannabis Legal Group, Hazel Park will be joining a list of dozens of municipalities across the state that opted in, including Bay City, Clare, Detroit, Inkster, River Rouge, Ypsilanti, and Orion Township. Orion Township passed their ordinance on Nov. 6, 2017.  Check out the full list at http://michigan-marijuana-lawyer.com/municipalities/

The date has not yet been set for the second reading of the ordinance.  The meeting will be announced at the City of Hazel Park website.

For more about the discussions behind the ordinance previsions, check out our previous article: http://oaklandcounty115.com/2017/10/10/hazel-park-mulls-over-medical-marijuana-facility-zoning/

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