Michigan Man Wants To Run State’s Largest Marijuana Grow

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Photo: MLive.com

‚ÄčA Royal Oak, Michigan man met with city officials in May to discuss his plan to avoid foreclosure on his 23,000-square-foot warehouse by leasing it to medical marijuana growers, according to documents posted on the city’s website.
If all the warehouse’s space is used for growing cannabis, the building could become the biggest marijuana facility in the state, Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine publisher Rick Ferris told the Detroit Free Press.

The problem is, Royal Oak — like several other cities in Michigan — recently placed a moratorium on medical marijuana facilities as the City Commission works to draft an ordinance that would regulate or even ban dispensaries, reports Jonathan Oosting at MlLive.com.
But James B. Canner is asking the city to consider an exception or zoning amendment, as he explained in a recent letter to the city’s director of planning, Tim Thwing.
June 9, James B. Canner:

I have attempted to lease or sell this property for over two years.  I now have an opportunity to lease the facility and eliminate any risk of the property going into foreclosure.  The moratorium obviously endangers this potential solution.

Given that over 63% or the registered voters passed this law (Michigan Marihuana Act of 2008), I think it is the cities obligation to create modifications to their current zoning laws to allow for the multiple business opportunities which are currently being formed.  One business opportunity is in the building and leasing of professional “Grow” rooms to licensed caregivers.  Industrial properties are the ideal location for such services as they are in less desirable areas usually fenced and gated.  But more importantly given the loss of manufacturing, millions of sq. ft. of industrial space will never be released.  This is a perfect alternative use for these properties.
All grow rooms are, is an indoor nursery which I think is totally compatible for an industrial use.  This facility would comply with all Michigan laws, it would have 24 hour security and the only visitors to this site would be the caregivers.  No dispensary services will be performed from this facility.
For your consideration, we would recommend that in modifying the zoning laws, the city could also require an application fee for each caregiver and an annual license fee.  Additionally, the city could require that a revenue tax be paid on all caregiver/patient services.
Canner said the site will have 24-hour security, that the city could charge fees to each caregiver and a tax to patients, and that “this is a perfect alternative” for empty industrial sites across Michigan.
Under Michigan law, caregivers are allowed to grow up to 12 plants each for up to five patients. But City Commissioner Chuck Semchena told the newspaper that he is concerned the warehouse “would produce so much more marijuana than the medical clients could use.”
However, City Attorney David Gilliam on Thursday wrote a letter (PDF) to City Commissioners pointing out that the language used in the moratorium guarantees an expedited hearing for any property owner who claims the ban has resulted ‘in denial of all economic use of the property.”
Gilliam recommended the City Commission consider Canner’s proposal.
Members will vote Monday night whether to hold the public hearing, which could be scheduled for later this month or in August.
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