Eastpointe begins taking medical marijuana applications Oct. 1

By: Brian Louwers | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 4, 2021

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EASTPOINTE — Those wishing to get into the medical marijuana business in Eastpointe can start submitting applications Oct. 1.

“We had a very productive meeting with our city attorney the other day to finalize our marijuana applications,” Eastpointe City Manager Elke Doom told members of the City Council Sept. 21. “I think we’ve just about got it where we’re very comfortable with it.”

In June 2020, the Eastpointe City Council voted 3-2 to approve ordinance changes permitting medical marijuana facilities to operate in the city. Councilman Cardi DeMonaco, Councilman Harvey Curley and Councilwoman Sarah Lucido voted to approve the changes. Mayor Monique Owens and then-Councilman Rob Baker voted against it.

At the Sept. 21 meeting, City Attorney Richard Albright said the key date arising from recent discussions with city administration was Oct. 1. He said the application window would remain open until 2 p.m. Dec. 15.

“After that, beginning on Jan. 12, the initial committee will convene to have an open meeting to review all of the applications for completeness,” Albright said. “Any incomplete applications will be denied, and there will be 21 days for the aggrieved party to appeal that decision with the city’s hearing officer.”

Albright said the next open meeting date after that would be March 30, 2022. That’s when the committee will again review the applications for approval.

A final meeting date will then be set to review the committee’s scores.

The zoning ordinance changes approved in 2020 specified required buffer zones between medical marijuana businesses and protected uses. Dispensaries must be 50 feet from homes; 500 feet from schools, parks and places of worship; and 1,000 feet from another dispensary.

The second set of changes covered building regulations, the application process and the number of facilities allowed.

A three-person group of city administrators will review and score the applications.

Eastpointe will license two testing facilities, three dispensaries and two transport facilities. According to amendments to the ordinance, dispensaries must be housed in a free-standing building, and parking must be specifically designated for the dispensary.

One final issue that was still being addressed as of Sept. 21 involved the map published online that shows parcels potentially eligible for medical marijuana facilities.

“Our marijuana maps, as far as the locations, they were revised, sent back to us and they’re still incorrect,” Doom said. “We have sent them back once again for additional revisions. The ones we have are almost correct, but there are small errors that we feel uncomfortable (with) because they do not delineate those that qualify and do not qualify.”

Doom added that there had been “quite an effort” to look at the maps and identify any flaws “because they’re very important.”

“They have to be absolutely accurate, and they’re not at that point yet, which is unfortunate because they’ve gone back for several revisions,” Doom said.