Pontiac’s moratorium on accepting applications for medical marijuana provisioning centers ends on Nov. 6.
The city hit the pause button on accepting applications last fall after a proposal voting for 20 medical marijuana dispensaries in Pontiac passed by one vote. Originally, it had about 60 days to prepare scoring criteria and create new zoning for the facilities. The city began accepting applications for support businesses, like growers and transporters, in August.
The application window will last for 21-days, opening at 9 a.m. on Nov. 6 and closing at 4 p.m. on Nov. 27. That window was previously set for September, but a new amendment to the zoning ordinance and continued debate over a community benefits ordinance have led to a delay, according to the clerk’s office.
Draft applications for the provisioning centers were approved and released on Oct. 8. Three applications have already been submitted during a short window between the last and most recent moratorium, but haven’t been reviewed, said Garland Doyle, interim city clerk.
“I’m getting calls every day about the applications. Even without approval from the city attorney, I’m going to be releasing the drafts. It’s highly unfair that we wait until the 11th hour to issue the applications and then only give people 21-days to respond. It’s always been my intent to release the material prior to that,” he said.
Ongoing tensions between the clerk’s office, city council, the mayor’s office and the city attorney resulted in a resolution requesting legal action to clarify roles and responsibilities of government officials in September. The mayor’s office vetoed that resolution for litigation earlier this month.
The mayor’s office also vetoed a community benefits ordinance this fall, adopted by city council in August. That ordinance is meant to help guide the application review committee in scoring applicants based on their planned investment in community parks, infracture, job training and economic development. Waterman pointed to the city attorney’s concerns about the wording and form of the document.
A draft community benefits ordinance was passed on Sept. 24. The clerk’s office and city attorney have been directed by council to make recommendations on the application review, scoring and ranking process during the next city council meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 15.
The draft applications will be available on city’s website under the clerk’s page.