Ypsilanti says no new marijuana dispensaries under emergency measure

posted MLIVE

YPSILANTI, MI — New marijuana retailers can’t set up shop in Ypsilanti under an emergency moratorium enacted Tuesday night.

The Ypsilanti City Council approved the emergency measure at its April 16 meeting, halting the issuance of additional marijuana permits in the city, while advancing an ordinance that would place a hard cap on the amount of marijuana businesses allowed in the city.

It’s the latest move in a series of efforts to limit cannabis retailers amid concerns Ypsilanti is becoming “weed city” and that long-existing small businesses will suffer in an oversaturated market. Ypsilanti has one of the highest number of marijuana dispensaries per capita in the state, according to city planner Joshua Burns.

The emergency measure is effective for 60 days as the city advances changes to its marijuana ordinance.

Council passed a first reading of the ordinance amendment in a 4-3 vote, with Michelle King, Evan Sweet, Patrick McLean voting no. The change would cap the amount of marijuana retailers at 13 but decrease to 10 if a permit holder fails to renew or if a permit is revoked. Under the proposed amendments, marijuana consumption facilities would be capped at three as well.

A second and final reading is likely at the council’s next meeting May 7, but the emergency moratorium prohibits new permits from being issued in the meantime.

The city also unanimously passed zoning changes shrinking the amount of available locations for potential marijuana retailers.

The zoning change had its first reading at council’s April 2 meeting. The regulation did not instate a cap, bringing on criticism from residents and business owners. The Planning Commission, which brought forth the zoning changes, said in a memo it would prefer a cap be reinstated as well.

Because the cap falls under the marijuana section of the city’s ordinance – not zoning – the City Council had to wait until the April 16 meeting to take up the amendment.

Ypsilanti previously had a hard cap on the number of marijuana businesses allowed in the city. However, the restriction was removed in part to avoid litigation over the process of doling out limited permits, officials said.

The city attorney, John Barr, said at council’s April 2 meeting he thinks “the situation has changed sufficiently enough in Ypsilanti” that he would be comfortable with the potential for litigation if council were to reinstate a cap.

Since the city did away with the restriction, other jurisdictions have implemented cap systems that the city could model, City Manager Andrew Hellenga said.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Community

BECOME A PARTNER

REGISTER YOUR TEAM

BECOME A PARTNER

BECOME A PARTNER

BECOME A PARTNER

BECOME A PARTNER

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

REGISTER YOUR TEAM

REGISTER YOUR TEAM