Detroit Puts 211 Dispensaries On Notice
03 Feb, 2016
Presentation to Council identifies 211 probable dispensaries; letters sent to all on Feb. 2
by Rick Thompson/February 3, 2016
DETROIT- As early as this morning, medical marijuana dispensaries in Detroit will be opening envelopes containing letters from the City of Detroit regarding the city’s new registration process- and a reminder that most of them will not be in operation for very much longer.
The letter was referenced in a Powerpoint presentation created by three different divisions of government and delivered to City Council during a meeting Tuesday morning. The presentation, titled “Medical Marihuana Caregiver Center Application Process Status Report For Detroit City Council,” identifies 211 dispensary locations in the city and includes a map.
The status report also says, “Notice letters sent to all facilities on February 2, 2016, published in the Detroit Legal News and posted on the MMCC website.”
As of this writing, the letter is not easily located on any of the websites the city has created for medical marijuana caregiver centers. The Compassion Chronicles has not been able to obtain a copy.
The new medical marijuana rules will begin on March 1; any dispensary in the city has until March 31 to apply for a business license. Most of the applicants will have to apply for a zoning variance, as the city was extremely stingy on the number of locations properly zoned for the inappropriately-named caregiver centers.
Although a process has been established for businesses to apply for a zoning variance, skepticism about the likelihood of anyone attaining the variance was expressed by Council members during the Tuesday meeting.
Dispensaries currently operating within 1,000 feet of a school could be deemed a public nuisance as early as March 1, since there is no variance process for those non-conforming properties. Any currently operating facility that has not completed the paperwork and filed the required forms electronically with the city by March 31 is out of compliance with the ordinance and could be deemed a nuisance.
The City has outlined some important facts about the new caregiver center program, including costs– but not everything has been decided yet. A Site Plan Review will cost $160, the initial Conditional Hearing is $1000, a Board of Zoning Appeals Hearing will run $1200, and the price of the business license is yet to be determined.
The city has set themselves up to double-dip the approved caregiver centers. The centers will have to purchase business licenses in early spring to operate, then they will be forced to renew their license again in September.
The FAQ page for the program tells citizens to report any illegal caregiver centers to their police precinct or neighborhood police officer.
Richard Clement, Marijuana Policy Analyst for Council Member George Cushingberry, asks that anyone interested in viewing documents visit www.detroitmi.gov/Government/City-Council/George-Cushingberry/Newsletters-and-Documents