MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – Months after a lawsuit against Muskegon Township temporarily halted many applications for marijuana dispensary licenses, the final two licenses available to pot shops have been awarded.
At a virtual township board meeting on Monday, April 20, the board voted 5-2 to grant licenses to two dispensaries serving medical and recreational customers. They are the township’s sixth and seventh marijuana dispensary licenses, which exhausts the number of dispensary licenses available under the township’s cannabis ordinances that were approved in October 2019.
The two approved licenses are for a dispensary to be operated by Green Peak Industries at 2345 E. Apple Ave., and a dispensary operated by Warren Elite PC of Ann Arbor, at 1446 Holton Road. It will be Warren Elite’s second dispensary in the township; it previously was approved for recreational and medical marijuana licenses for a property at 1965 Holton Road.
Applications were held up as a lawsuit filed against the township by cannabis business Agri-Med – the entity behind Muskegon’s Park Place Provisionary and Exit 9 Provisionary in Nunica – made its way through the courts, said township Supervisor Jennifer Hodges.
That lawsuit claimed that Muskegon Township had violated a first-come-first-served policy under its own ordinance and that Agri-Med, which waited in line for nine days to submit an application, should have been given preference due to its spot in line.
The township countered that the law stated that the township board would review applications in the order they were submitted, but that all approvals were subject to a vote by the board.
“They stood in line and didn’t realize it didn’t really matter,” said Hodges.
The township eventually prevailed in the lawsuit, and the board on Monday considered four applications for dispensaries: the two from Warren Elite and Green Peak they approved and two from Agri-Med, which did not receive approval.
The final decisions were made based on the size of buildings, effects on traffic, and the quality and number of jobs to be created, said Hodges.
In October 2019, Muskegon Township passed a set of ordinances allowing for the establishment of cannabis businesses along commercial corridors on East Apple Avenue, Laketon Avenue, Whitehall Road and Holton Road. These businesses include dispensaries and grow operations.
The final list of approved dispensaries is as follows:
- 2190 Whitehall Road, owned by Oak Flint
- 1249 E. Laketon Ave., owned by Main Street Products
- 1965 Holton Road, owned by Warren Elite
- 1401 and 1403 Apple Ave, owned by NoBo Michigan
- 3737 E. Apple Ave., owned by Main Street Products
- 2345 E. Apple Ave., owned by Green Peak Industries
- 1446 Holton Road, owned by Warren Elite
Muskegon Township has also approved one marijuana grow operation: an 11,000-square-foot industrial marijuana growing facility to be owned and operated by Missouri-based Root Weaver. It will be located at 3129 E. Laketon Ave., within the township’s 115-acre growing and processing overlay district, where more such facilities are projected to open over time, the township’s planning and zoning administrator, Brian Werschem, previously told MLive.
“We allow unlimited facilities,” he said. “We certainly didn’t intend on creating an overlay district of 115 acres with the plan of just bringing one in.”
Given the impact of novel coronavirus on daily functioning, it is unclear when the new dispensaries will open, said Hodges.
“With everything up in the air, both are hoping to be open by the end of the year, but nobody could say anything definitive,” she said. “It all obviously depends on the state of COVID-19.”
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