ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor’s new zoning regulations for medical marijuana businesses took effect last month, and the city has seen a flurry of applications from cannabis entrepreneurs.
That includes existing dispensaries seeking to become official under new city and state regulations, new ones looking to open, and at least one planning an expansion in the heart of downtown.
A review of city records shows at least 25 dispensaries have sought approval to operate in Ann Arbor this year. Four of those already have gone through zoning approval and 21 others are pending.
The city three months ago agreed to let 18 existing marijuana businesses continue to operate while they go through the new licensing process that’s now playing out.
The city’s Planning Commission has the task of considering each dispensary’s application and deciding, with city staff input, whether they qualify for special zoning approval to allow them to operate.
They do not go to City Council for approval, though the council established the rules for them. One of those rules is that dispensaries must be spaced at least 600 feet apart to avoid clusters of them.
In recent weeks, the Planning Commission has approved zoning for four dispensaries: Arbors Wellness at 321 E. Liberty St., Treecity Health Collective at 2730 Jackson Ave., Greenstone Society at 338 S. Ashley St., and Stadium Ventures Inc. at 2460 W. Stadium Blvd.
The commission postponed consideration of two other dispensaries — Green Planet at 700 Tappan Ave. and Liv Wellness and Cafe at 603 E. William St. — at its last meeting.
Applications for many others are still pending and none have been denied yet, said Brett Lenart, the city’s planning manager.
Lenart notes once the zoning is approved, dispensaries still need building compliance approval, permit approval through the city clerk’s office and license approval through