City of Kalamazoo may delay recreational marijuana business licensing applications
Anil Mathews | Published September 16, 2019 10:21:42 AM | Laws & Regulations

City of Kalamazoo may delay recreational marijuana business licensing applications

On Nov. 1, Michigan is scheduled to start accepting licensing applications for recreational marijuana businesses. However, the city of Kalamazoo said it is not prepared to do so.

The city said it is not ready to make a decision as to whether it will allow recreational, commercial adult use marijuana establishments to open in the city.

On Monday evening the Kalamazoo City Commission is scheduled to review City Attorney, Clyde Robinson's recommendation regarding the applications.

The recommendation asked the commission to consider adopting an ordinance which would delay the city's "opt-in" deadline until June 1, 2020.

The delay would give city staff more time to implement zoning and licensing organizations that coincide with the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act.

Robinson said he has also been dealing with issues regarding medical marijuana businesses which are likely to have an impact on recreational marijuana shops.

Currently, the city of Kalamazoo does not have a "hard cap" on the amount or type of medical marijuana businesses that are allowed to operate in the city.

However, the city has implemented restrictions which require a certain distance between shops and other zoning regulations.

There is also a blind lottery system that is currently in place for potential businesses, but under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act the city cannot use a blind lottery system to issue licenses.

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency said Kalamazoo is one of 19 communities across the state that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana regulations.

As a result of that determination, people living in Kalamazoo will be able to take advantage of a social equity program. The program waves up to 60% of the state licensing fee for adult recreational marijuana businesses but this will only take effect if city staff resolves the issues at hand.

Monday's City Commission meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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