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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Pontiac may finally get adult cannabis

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This comes four years after voter approval.

This story has been reprinted with permission from Detroit Crane Written by Dustin Walsh.

Pontiac City Council plans to finalize a city ordinance on January 10 to allow adult recreational marijuana businesses to operate in Oakland County’s sixth largest city.

The ordinance stems from a 2018 vote by Pontiac residents to create medical marijuana stores. Voters approved the proposal that called for 20 adult marijuana retailers without license limits for growers, processors or carriers.

But not a single business opened during the years of infighting between city council members and Mayor Deirdre Waterman, who staunchly opposed the city’s marijuana business. Waterman named herself to the city’s marijuana commission, which the council said violated the city’s charter. The delays even led to a lawsuit from Rubicon Capital for redeveloping the site to include a medical marijuana retailer. An Oakland County Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the developer in 2021. The site remains undeveloped.

But with Waterman gone — she lost reelection in 2021 — and the medical market overtaking the recreational market, the 20 applicants who received conditional approval for medical marijuana facilities now want the law to allow recreational facilities as well.

On Tuesday, the council met in closed session to review a proposed ordinance that would update it to allow recreational sales. It passed an amendment in closed session to raise the cap for small businesses — which allows the growth of up to 150 factories, processing and direct-to-consumer sales — from three to five, WDIV reported.

It is unclear when Pontiac’s marijuana business might open. However, conditional applicants still have until July to meet city requirements, which include obtaining building permits, hiring employees, setting wages, making charitable donations, The Oakland Press reported.

It’s also a file The hardest time to open a marijuana business since legalizationSuch as Recreational weed prices The price fell from over $500/oz in early 2020 to $95.12/oz in November. Medical marijuana remains slightly higher at $102.60 an ounce. This high price makes medical marijuana less competitive, which explains why retailers prefer to sell recreational marijuana.

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