Mt. Pleasant’s two medical marijuana business owners are upset that they were not among the three applicants given conditional approvals for recreational marijuana establishments.
Deborah and Caleb Cary, owners of Consano; and Ryan Jacques, who represents Old 27 North, voiced their opinions to city commissioners last week after a committee scored and selected Lume Cannabis and Fire House Provisioning for conditional approval.
Lume, based in Troy, proposed two locations; Fire House, based in Bay City, proposed one.
Deborah and Caleb Carey spoke to commissioners during last week’s virtual meeting, telling them they were upset with the committee’s scoring and that Consano is already a business that is compliant with city and state regulations.
“My business is not a proposal,” she said. “It’s real and it’s ready to go.”
Deborah told commissioners it will be difficult to compete as a medical marijuana business with recreational marijuana establishments.
She also said she is a “daughter” of Mt. Pleasant, having graduated from Sacred Heart, and that the city should support locals.
Caleb told commissioners he thinks the selection committee — City Planner Jacob Kain, former City Clerk Jeremy Howard and Police Chief Paul Lauria — underestimated the value of Consano while scoring the applicants.
Applicants were scored on current medical marijuana licenses, Mt. Pleasant or Isabella County residency, human resources including the proposed number of employees, physical investment, area impact, business opportunities, establishment design, energy efficiency and infrastructure impact.
Caleb said that Consano installed solar panels but was not awarded full points for energy efficiency.
Jacques, who wrote to commissioners after the committee selected Lume and Fire House, said scoring gave little or no weight to existing businesses.
However, all three committee members gave Consano and Old 27 North, which applied under the name Cedjo Services, LLC, the highest possible scores in that category.
Jacques also said the number of medical marijuana patients is dwindling because of the ease of obtaining recreational marijuana, limited access to medical marijuana physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic and because of the cost of getting medical marijuana cards.
Jacques said Consano and Old 27 North are in danger of eventually closing if they don’t get recreational marijuana licenses.
Kain, Howard and Lauria tallied scoring at the committee’s final meeting, held Aug. 21.
In the physical investment category, which Lauria described as immensely important, the three considered current state of applicant properties, and noted that some of the proposals could change because of economic factors.
Kain said he is confident the applicants’ proposals will come to fruition as planned.
Some applicants received more points for proposals involving vacant properties that can be added back to the city’s tax roll.
Lauria said he was also in favor of proposals that included refurbishing existing structures.
If Lume or House of Fire withdraw or fail to meet proposed criteria, the next highest scorer will receive conditional authorization, Kain said.
Lume ranked one and two; House of Fire was third.
Pure Releaf N Union, LLC was fourth; GC Flint was fifth and N-East Services was sixth.
Cary Investments ranked seventh; CedjoServices was eighth; and Stash Ventures, LLC was ninth.
Green Peak Industries was 10th.
Stash Ventures, LLC ranked ninth.