Traverse City, Mich., officials are moving forward on plans to opt into the state’s adult-use cannabis program and allow up to 24 dispensaries to operate in their municipality. Commercial adult-use cannabis sales first launched in Michigan in December 2019.
The city of roughly 16,000 people in the northwestern part of the state will have adult-use cannabis retail applications available beginning June 13, and officials will accept those applications from Aug. 22-26, 2022, according to a press release from the Traverse City Clerk’s Office. The online application will be required to be submitted electronically.
The announcement comes two months after the city’s planning commission reviewed policy proposals to allow adult-use retailers in nine commercially zoned districts.
The municipality’s adult-use cannabis licensing and zoning ordinance, as well as a scoring rubric for its limited license structure, were approved by city commissioners at their May 16 regular meeting. The ordinance includes an overlay district of subareas throughout Traverse City, which allows for a maximum number of licenses in each subarea, with the total number of retail licenses not to exceed 24.
If Traverse City regulators license the maximum in the ordinance, Michigan’s cannabis retail footprint would grow by roughly 5% from the 500 active adult-use retail licenses in the state as of April 30, according to Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA).
The application process will be “extensive and robust,” and will require a tremendous amount of documentation that will be vetted by several city departments, the clerk’s office press release stated. The competitive scoring process for the license applications will be analytical, and potential winners will have the opportunity to make presentations to a scoring committee during multiple public meetings. On-site inspections of facilities will be required before any final issuances.
“We are looking forward to working with the cannabis business community and excited about the value that they will bring to Traverse City,” City Clerk Benjamin Marentette said in the release. “Our goal within the city clerk’s office is to process, execute, and license adult-use retail establishments as quickly as possible while performing appropriate due diligence and balancing our other responsibilities.”
Once available, the adult-use cannabis application may be found by visiting: www.traversecitymi.gov/services