The Ypsilanti Township Planning Commission will consider Tuesday night whether to approve a special use permit for a medical marijuana nursery and dispensary to operate off South Huron Street near Interstate 94.
But Ypsilanti Planning Director Joe Lawson has raised several concerns about the project.
Detroit-based Stella Inc., which calls its business the Michigan Wellness Group, is proposing the dispensary in a light industrial zone at 435 Joe Hall Drive. But Lawson noted in his recommendation to the Planning Commission that the Eastern Michigan University Foundation Office, located at 1349 S. Huron St., is within 1,000 feet of the site.
The township’s ordinance regarding medical marijuana facilities states they cannot be located within 1,0000 feet of schools, churches, child care organizations, libraries, universities or residential uses or districts, and a special use permit would be required.
Lawson wrote in his recommendation that he checked the company’s website and has several concerns about what services the Michigan Wellness Group offers, including patient to patient transactions, which he said are illegal under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act per a recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling. The company also offers edible medical marijuana products, which Lawson wrote are not covered by the MMMA, according to previous case law.
Lawson also wrote that it appears the group is not aware of the township’s zoning ordinances regarding patient/caregiver relationships, though he didn’t elaborate and wasn’t immediately available for comment.
“This applicant may not be clear as to the intent and/or regulations set forth in our local ordinance as they relate to the patient/caregiver relationship and further that patient to patient sales or transfer has been deemed illegal under the MMMA by the State Supreme Court,” Lawson wrote. “There appears to be far too many questions to be answered at this time in relation to the proposed operation of the facility for staff to make a positive recommendation in relation to this application.”
Lawson said there are also procedural issues with the posting of the public hearing for the special use permit, but said the planning commission could take public comment to try to get clarification from the business owners on what is planned for the dispensary.
The Planning Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. at the Ypsilanti Township Hall.
jTom Perkins is a freelance reporter for The Ann Arbor News.
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