marijuana municipal applications and michigan municipalities marijuana applications

In case you missed it, check out a great article on how best to search for a cannabis business property titled, Cannabis Friendly Real Estate: Starting Your Search. For those looking, it lays out the entire process at a very high-level. This article covers the keys to winning marijuana municipal applications. It’s based on helping hundreds of Michigan businesses successfully navigate municipalities’ marijuana applications and get into the state’s booming cannabis industry.

Need help navigating marijuana municipal applications and winning a license? Could you use help searching for property or writing a real estate agreement? Request a consultation now.

Determine the Requirements

To begin, determine what’s required to apply.

Depending on the municipality, this may be handled by a Supervisor, Council man or woman, Commissioner, City Manager, Clerk, Zoning Administrator, and maybe even an economic development coordinator.

By contacting the municipality, there’s an opportunity to inquire and make sure you’re working with the right person and/or department.

With rare exception, once a municipality has opted in, there’s generally someone in that community that’ll be spearheading the project.

Even if you can obtain the application online, it’s still very worthwhile to call, or better stop in, to introduce yourself, make yourself and your intentions known, and most importantly, make sure you know exactly what will be expected of you.

Unique Applications for Each Municipality

Each municipality will have its own application.

The applications can vary considerably between each community too so don’t assume that your application in Lansing will be the same as your application to Ann Arbor.

Not only do these application differ in form and content, they also differ in process.

Will your application be “merit based” and scored against others for a limited number of license permits to be issued or will it require the applicant to simply check the boxes and get it filed so you can wait out the state’s approval.

Timing is Everything

Another consideration is the timing of the municipal application.

Does the community have a hard and fast application time like Hazel Park?

By communicating with the municipality, you can confirm if there’s a deadline and insure your application is received timely.

Be sure to obtain a time-stamp of its submission and keep a copy for yourself.

Experts Will Be Needed

A number of Michigan municipalities require a site plan, survey and/or elevation plans with marijuana applications.

An applicant will need to engage an appropriate professional to prepare these plans but you must be sure to give the professional time to complete their project.

If you have a deadline, make sure the professional knows and can meet your requirements.

Other plans such as a security plan, inventory plan and storage plan, among others are also often requested.

These plans require compliance with the MMFLA, the Marihuana Tracking Act, the Emergency Rules and local ordinances.

It’s important to know these laws and rules so that you can tailor your plans to be compliant for use at the local and state levels.

Once your application is complete, next determine how it should be turned in.

Will it need to be in a closed, sealed envelope like Hazel Park required or could it be that the paper application itself is turned in along with a “thumb” drive with all the supporting documents the way Ypsilanti required?

Does a Special Exception Use hearing need to get scheduled like Ann Arbor or will a hearing be scheduled before the township board for approval as done in Bangor Township.

Will the township use its planning committee to review the plans for approval and recommendation to approve the project by the board the way Leoni Township handled its approvals?

Knowing the process helps set expectations and puts a timeline on the project.

Get to Know the Community

Working with the municipality is a nuance is proving to be unique to this industry.

The varying levels of knowledge and interest between community leaders, overcoming the fear mongering and objections that bely cannabis and dealing with buffers and use restrictions not otherwise required in similar agriculture and commercial industries are but as few of the challenges we face.

But once Michigan municipalities have opted in and set up their marijuana applications process, it’s critical of each operator to follow the local rules, get to know the officials involved and be a good corporate citizen.

If the application process is the municipalities first impression of your business, be sure to make it a good one.

Need help navigating marijuana municipal applications and winning a license? Could you use help searching for property or writing a real estate agreement? Request a consultation now.