Ferndale to Vote Monday on Medical Marijuana Facilities

Ferndale to Vote Monday on Medical Marijuana Facilities

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 10, 2018)

Ferndale, MI-  Ferndale City Council is expected to vote Monday evening on whether to allow medical marijuana businesses in the city.

Two options are being presented for consideration for the application approval process. According to a Memo by City Planner Justin Lyons, the possibilities are:

“Option 1 would require that after an applicant has been approved through the state, staff would review the application for compliance with the ordinance up to the number permitted under the zoning ordinance, then submit for Planning Commission review. This option recognizes the significant financial, background and operational review that is undertaken by the state in connection with state-issued licenses.

“Option 2 creates a 30-day enrollment period that would allow applications to be submitted and evaluated and scored by the staff or a third-party reviewer (with indication of points for five categories). The highest score would be issued a permit up to the number permitted under the zoning ordinance. This option would still require a provisioning center to secure a state issued license, but could seek local approval first. This scoring and selection would need to be subject to adjustment should a top scored applicant not receive a state issued license.”

According to the memo, “Option 1 was proposed as a motion by the Planning Commission, but ended up being withdrawn over discussion and lack of consensus. Staff still recommends the Option 1 application process, which would require applicants to receive state approval prior to coming to the City to begin that process.”


In addition to defining the process, other recommended provisions include:

Type and Amount of Facilities

-The Planning Commission recommended the number of provisioning centers to be 3 and safety compliance facilities to be 1. The recommended increase in provisioning centers was based on expected demand and would in theory allow more opportunity for the existing 5 medical marihuana facilities to apply. Staff (including CED, Police, Fire) still recommends 1 provisioning center and 1 safety compliance facility to allow an evaluation on how the use affects public safety, parking considerations, etc.

Evaluation Period

-Staff and the Planning Commission agreed that staff would compile an evaluation six (6) months after a provisioning center has been issued a Certificate of Occupancy. Staff is still determining the evaluation criteria, but police calls, code enforcement violations, and traffic counts could be part of the report.

Location and Zoning Districts

-The zoning districts (M-1, M-2, OS) and distance requirements (500 feet of an educational institution, nursery school, or child care center, or another medical marihuana facility provisioning center or safety compliance facility) were agreed upon by staff and Planning Commission. Provisioning centers and safety compliance facilities would be permitted uses (rather than special land uses) in the recommended ordinance and would come to Planning Commission for site plan review.

Site Plan Considerations

-Provisioning centers would have size considerations with a maximum of 5,000 square feet of building usable floor space for retail operations and an additional 5,000 square feet for the rest of the proposed operation. That would equate to 10,000 maximum overall useable square footage for the operation, but not for other separate uses in a shared building. Hours were recommended to be adjusted to Monday – Sunday 9am-9pm for standardization purposes.


On top of that, businesses must comply with the regulations set forth by the State, which include:

-Authorizes five (5) categories of state operating license holders: growers, processors, provisioning centers, safety compliance facilities and secure transporters.

-Requires an applicant to submit a marihuana facility plan, which describes the type of marihuana facility, anticipated or actual number of employees, projected or actual gross receipts, a business plan, proposed marihuana facility location, and security plan.

-Potential for a grower, processor, and provisioning center operation at one location, if under common ownership.

-Applicants must provide capitalization with disclosure of the sources, such financing in the amount of $300,000 for a provisioning center and $200,000 for a safety compliance facility with not less than 25% of the required assets being liquid to cover initial expenses of the facility.

-Applicants are also required to have marihuana inventory possessed by a registered qualifying patient or registered primary caregiver with no more than 15 ounces of usable marihuana or 72 marihuana plants utilized as marihuana inventory.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing in March regarding the proposed ordinances.


Hazel Park and Walled Lake have already passed medical marijuana business ordinances. Hazel Park voted to allow four of any of the categories of business licensed by the State.

Walled Lake permits up to three each of: marijuana grower facilities, marijuana processor facilities and marijuana transporter facilities, plus one safety compliance facility in the “Limited Industrial District.” It also allows for one marijuana provisioning center in the “Central Business District,” and in the “General Commercial District” there can be up to two provisioning canters and one marijuana safety compliance facility These ordinances come in the wake of regulations set forth by The Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (PA 281 of 2016, MCL §333.27101).


The Ferndale City Council meeting takes place Monday, May 14 at 7 pm at Ferndale City Hall.  More info can be found on the City of Ferndale website.

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