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 Green Buddha is one of three marijuana provisioning centers open in Ferndale. All of the facilities reportedly are in good standing with the city after police and code review.

Green Buddha is one of three marijuana provisioning centers open in Ferndale. All of the facilities reportedly are in good standing with the city after police and code review.

Photo by Mike Koury


Ferndale could increase number of marijuana licenses from 3 to 5

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 4, 2020

 Gage Cannabis Co. is one of three marijuana provisioning centers open in Ferndale. The city is having its Planning Commission review whether or not increasing the number of licenses in the city from three to five is a good idea.

Gage Cannabis Co. is one of three marijuana provisioning centers open in Ferndale. The city is having its Planning Commission review whether or not increasing the number of licenses in the city from three to five is a good idea.

Photo by Mike Koury

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FERNDALE — The city of Ferndale could potentially see an increase in the number of marijuana businesses allowed in the future.

At its Jan. 27 meeting, the City Council received a report on marijuana businesses in Ferndale from City Planner Justin Lyons.

As it currently stands, there are three medical marijuana provisioning centers in Ferndale — LIV Wellness, Gage Cannabis Co. and Green Buddha. There also are two existing, nonconforming medical marijuana facilities that are allowed to operate under the original state regulations and special land use conditions from 2008. They are located at 1915 E. Nine Mile Road and 1521 E. Eight Mile Road.

Lyons reviewed the current situation with the number of marijuana businesses in the city, what’s to come with recreational marijuana businesses and recent inspections of said businesses by police and code enforcement.

“These facilities did receive their state operating licenses for medical provisioning centers,” he said. “There’s been consistent and periodic inspections by the Police Department since these facilities have opened, and in talking with all of the departments involved, there’s been no observed issues related to safety, security or code enforcement.”

Ferndale amended its ordinances last year to allow recreational marijuana centers. The city started allowing applicants to apply for a license Dec. 1 and will continue to do so until March 1. As of the meeting, there had been zero applicants.

“No one has applied, but there’s been a lot of general interest,” Lyons said. “I would expect to see some applications before that March 1 (deadline).”

At the end of his presentation, Lyons stated that staff recommended the council take a look at increasing the number of licenses for both medical marijuana provisioning centers and marijuana retailers from three to five.

Council was notified that it could make a motion to have the Planning Commission review that recommendation and give its own opinion on increasing the licenses.

There were representatives of some of the marijuana establishments in Ferndale that had concern with increasing the number of licenses from three to five. On behalf of Gage, Todd Levy said that all of the operators in the city have concerns that an increase would have a diluting effect on supply, which he argued is the biggest problem in the market.

“There are not enough growers producing enough product,” he said. “I don’t know if you’ve been in these stores, but a lot of the times, there’s a shortage of supply. We also have Berkley, Detroit — Royal Oak is making a move, Warren’s making a move, Center Line’s making a move. There’s a lot of provisioning centers out there. There’s not a lot of growers. That’s the main problem.”

The council unanimously moved to send the recommendation to the Planning Commission for review. Councilman Greg Pawlica initiated the move on the council, saying he believed the commission should have an opportunity to review this and gather input from a residential point of view.

“If they feel that three is sufficient in the city, that’s the decision and the recommendation that the Planning Commission will make and will bring to council,” he said. “Council could decide at that time, or they may decide that … there’s room in the community for five locations. I’m leaving it up to the Planning Commission for that conversation.”

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