Marijuana appeals heard by board

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published September 4, 2023

 The Harrison Township Board of Trustees met on the evening of Aug. 28 to hear marijuana license extension appeals.

The Harrison Township Board of Trustees met on the evening of Aug. 28 to hear marijuana license extension appeals.

Photo by Dean Vaglia


HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Five marijuana businesses in Harrison Township were brought before the Board of Trustees on Aug. 28, each one appealing various hurdles that would jeopardize their ability to renew operating licenses.

“What the ordinance states is that, if a permit holder does not commence operations within two years of the issuance of the permit, the permit shall be forfeited,” said Township Clerk Adam Wit. “However, the permit holder may appeal to the township board for an extension beyond those two years for a showing of good cause. The ordinance also states that applicants for a permit must be current on their taxes and any other financial obligations to the township.”

Among the five businesses that requested appeals, three have not begun operating while two failed to pay bills.

The first brought before the board was Pure Garden, which has not opened since receiving its license. According to Trustee David Bratto, the company ran into supply chain delays when setting up its business and lacks a state license, but it has received high marks from township departments and has a certificate of occupancy. It did not take long for the board to approve Pure Garden’s appeal.

Next up was Harrison Suite A, which was recently acquired by JARS Cannabis. The Harrison Township Fire Department noted two minor deficiencies with the property but did not object to its continued possession of a license. Trustees followed suit and approved the extension.

“I think there were some minor issues with weather stripping on a door, if I recall,” Township Supervisor Ken Verkest said. “But again, we’re talking about a location that’s substantially completed and recently sold to what I would consider to be a significant business in the cannabis industry with JARS.  You’d like to think that, if this company were willing to invest in this location, it’s probably worthwhile to give them that year’s opportunity to see where they might end up.”

Hazel Park Growth followed, which came to the board in a less-encouraging state. A report from the building department states construction at the site was halted and maintenance has ceased with the department taking action to enforce cleanup at the site and the renewal of expired building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits. For the board to approve its appeal, it would need to explain why the work stopped and what the future of the site would be.

Ali Moslemani, owner of Hazel Park Growth, told the board he got in contact with the Building Department and contractor to get the permits renewed and the site cleaned up. He is also in talks with a company around the Lansing area about a merger. The explanation worked for trustees, and Hazel Park Growth got its extension.

Pure Roots and Tango Jack (SSQ Industries) both came before the board with financial issues. Pure Roots was flagged for unpaid water and property taxes, while Tango Jack had only unpaid water bills. Both were approved for extensions.


Contract extension
Trustees also approved a four-year contract extension for Township Financial Director Nicol Giebas for $117,000 on Aug. 28.