Ferndale Adds Licenses for Recreational and Medical Marijuana Sales
(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 30, 2020)
Ferndale, MI -At their Monday, April 27 meeting, Ferndale City Council made two decisions regarding marijuana businesses in the City. They approved allowing three recreational marijuana operations, which are in conjunction with existing medical marijuana facilities. And they voted to allow two more medical provisioning centers which are for medical marijuana patients.
The city’s three existing provisioning centers – 625 Hilton (LIV Wellness), 1921 Hilton (4D Mar, LLC/Green Buddha), and 1551 Academy (AEYCapital/Gage) were approved out of seven applicants, mainly because their provisioning centers had already been up and running in the city.
City Planner Justin Lyons shared the staff’s recommendations and the checklists that were used to evaluate the businesses that would get the three permits, which are limited by ordinance.
“We already have had regular inspections,” Lyons said, noting that the police and fire departments reported no problems at any of the existing businesses.
Councilpersons Laura Mikulski and Kat Bruner James spoke of having done in-person research. “I visited Green Buddha with Kat and I was very impressed, they right a very tight ship,” Mikulski said. “I have no problem moving forward.”
Under Michigan laws, existing provisioning centers may use up to 50% of their marijuana stock for retail sales. Recreational customers must be 21 years or older. Retail sales must be done in an area distinct from medical sales, though they can be in the same building.
Recreational sales will not begin right away. After the council meeting, Oakland County Times asked Lyons to clarify the timeline.
“The three marijuana retailers had applications for permits approved by City Council tonight and are expected to follow the City and State process over the coming months,” he said. “The approvals are pending any plans and inspections required by the City to receive a Certificate of Occupancy and a retailer license by the State. City staff have remote capabilities to review updated plans to keep these projects and others moving. I would expect it will take at least three months for the three retailers to open.”
MEDICAL PROVISIONING CENTERS
The City also approved increasing the number of provisioning center licenses from three to five. The two forthcoming dispensaries would be limited to medical marijuana cardholders as customers, though City Council could vote later to allow more recreational licenses if they chose.
Pure Green, LLC (642 E. 9 Mile) and Michigan Harvest Company, LLC (2505 Burdette) are the two provisioning centers that are pre-approved for conditional permits.
“The two proposed provisioning centers will need to submit site and building plans for City approval, as well as meet the State’s inspection requirements. I would expect it will take those two applicants minimum of 5-6 months to be open and operating,” City Planner Lyons said.
Mayor Melanie Piana praised the Planning Commission and City staff for their work on the ever-changing challenge of marijuana regulations in Michigan. “The City has always been thoughtful and deliberate about how we accept, and allow, and enable, and secure these facilities,” she said.