Marijuana businesses

UPDATED:

OWOSSO — The Owosso City Council voted Monday to set a 30-day window from May 1 to May 30 for people to submit applications for a medical marijuana provisioning center license.

A provisioning center is a storefront location through which medical marijuana is sold.

After the 30-day window, the application process will close and there will be a lottery drawing June 13 to determine who is awarded the licenses.

An applicant can only apply for one provisioning center license to avoid monopolizing the market.

Four licenses will be awarded for provisioning centers by the city.

According to City Manager Nathan Henne, the applicants must already have received pre-approval from the state.

The state will remove the unqualified applicants for the city, he said.

Licensing at the state level is handled by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). LARA has created guidelines for who can apply. Among other things, to apply for a provisioning center license at the state level an applicant has to be 21 years, a non-felon and have demonstrated the financial capability of starting and maintaining the business.

The pre-approval process includes a background check of the applicant and all investors.

The city’s lottery process was delayed last year until officials determined zoning ordinances for marijuana establishments.

At its March 18 meeting, the Owosso City Council set the parameters for where a marijuana provisioning center can be located.

They set up “buffer zones” to ensure there wouldn’t be too many in one area.

The guidelines set forward at the March 18 Council meeting were that a provisioning center:

n May not be located within 200 feet of the real property comprising or used by a public or private elementary, vocational, or secondary school.

n May not be located within 100 feet of a residentially zoned structure.

n May not be located within 100 feet of a vacant residentially zoned parcel.

n No parcel containing a medical marijuana provisioning center shall be located within 100 feet of a parcel on which another medical marijuana provisioning center is located.

Medical marijuana is handled differently than recreational marijuana.

Under a proposal passed by voters in November 2018, municipalities had to take action to opt out of allowing recreational marijuana sales or they automatically were opted in. Owosso City Council passed a moratorium on businesses to provide time for the state to formulate rules, as well as the city.

Medical marijuana requires municipalities to opt in. Owosso delayed action while it formulated rules.

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