Berkley expected to review marijuana applications in January

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published December 10, 2021

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BERKLEY — The establishment of marijuana businesses in Berkley has been a slow process, but one that looks to pick up in the next month.

In the fall, Berkley held appeal hearings for prospective marijuana businesses that have been hoping to operate in town. Based on the recommendations of its hearing officer, Greg Need, Berkley conducted a review of one of its 30 applicants in November, as well as awarded some businesses more points on their applications.

The one business that was reviewed, named Bud McCool’s, was scored on Nov. 12. Originally, the business wasn’t scored because the application was disqualified.

“It was disqualified due to our interpretation of the requirements for disclosing owners that had a 10% or more standard,” City Manager Matt Baumgarten said. “There was an applicant involved that was right at 10% so we felt like … that person should’ve been prequalified by the state as well.”

Need said the city rejected the application because one of the owners was a 10% owner, and no prequalification documentation was provided for her.

“The city’s ordinance doesn’t require prequalification for anybody owning 10% or less,” he said. “Based on that, I determined that no prequalifications were required for her, and thus that application should’ve been scored.”

Baumgarten gave the application for Bud McCool’s a score of 281. The city is only allowing three marijuana businesses to operate in Berkley at this time and the application did not crack the top three.

With the additional points awarded by Need, the top scoring applications unofficially stand at Operation Grow with 315 and Quality Roots Inc. with 310. There are also now three business applications at 301 points: Attitude Wellness; Yellow Tail Ventures LLC at 11 Mile Road; and Seven Points Dispensing of Michigan LLC.

The reason the scores are unofficial, Baumgarden explained, is because the City Council has yet to review and approve them. He said council most likely won’t see the scores on an agenda until January at the earliest, as Bud McCool’s is allowed to appeal its score. An administrative hearing for that appeal with Need is expected to take place at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10.

“All the applicants that submitted appeals have all appeared before the hearing officer,” Baumgarten said. “He’s reviewed those cases, made recommendations on any changes in the score based on the information he was provided, and none of these scores are official until they’re affirmed by council. Council now has the opportunity to review them as well and make a decision on which of the recommendations make sense: some, none or all.”