Pontiac Residents to Decide on Key Marijuana Business Ordinance Amendments

January 8th, 2024 Legislation & Policy Updates
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Pontiac, Michigan, is set to present a ballot proposal to its voters, aimed at amending the city's existing regulations on adult-use marijuana businesses. This move reflects a broader trend in Michigan, where the legal landscape around marijuana continues to evolve.

The proposed amendments, listed under Pontiac Proposal 1, Ordinance No. 2424, are comprehensive and detailed. They focus on various aspects of the Adult-Use Marihuana Business Ordinance, including:

  1. Revised Definitions: The proposal seeks to update definitions for key terms such as "Applicant," "Person," "Social Equity-Qualified Business," and "Stakeholder." These changes aim to clarify who qualifies as an applicant, incorporating partnerships and limited liability partnerships, and expanding the definition of stakeholders to include any business entity owners with an indirect or direct ownership interest greater than 6%.

  2. Enhanced Disclosure Requirements: The amendments propose more stringent disclosure requirements for applicants. This includes revealing the ownership structure of the applicant entity and identifying every individual or entity with more than a 2.5% ownership interest.

  3. Background Checks and Age Verification: There are provisions for comprehensive criminal history background checks, including for managerial employees and others involved in the management of the applicant. Additionally, applicants and stakeholders must affirm they are at least 21 years of age.

  4. Operational and Permitting Process Changes: The proposal suggests modifications to the marijuana business permit application process. This includes changes to the timeline for obtaining permits, setting application windows, and requirements for community engagement plans.

  5. Scoring System for Permit Applications: A significant change is proposed in the scoring system used to evaluate permit applications, particularly for those with existing medical marijuana provisioning center permits. This includes the allocation of points for applicants and the conditions under which these points apply.

  6. Zoning and Location Restrictions: The proposed ordinance addresses the number of conditional permits available in various zoning districts for different types of marijuana businesses, including retailers and microbusinesses.

  7. Transfer of Location and Ownership Rules: Amendments also include provisions allowing the transfer of locations for conditionally approved medical marijuana permit holders to apply for adult-use permits in different zoning districts.

For Pontiac residents interested in the full details of Ordinance No. 2424, the document is available for review at the City Clerk's Office during regular business hours. Additionally, Pontiac is not the only community facing marijuana-related ballot proposals, with several other communities in the region also presenting their own amendments. More information on these and other election-related details can be found on the Oakland County Clerk's website.

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