Want to open up your own medical marijuana dispensary? Recent Federal law now prohibits the use of any federal funds to interfere with medical cannabis laws, taking the risk of ‘big brother’ out of the equation.
Despite the rush of entrepreneurs participating in this new industry, is owning a dispensary as easy as you think?
There are taxes, fees and licensing to consider that can make it quite expensive to even open your doors. Certified public accountant James Campbell stated, “some states require as much as one million dollars in reserve (or surety) to sell or grow cannabis in addition to the fees.”
What about townships?
The simplest way to get your dispensary in hot water, or unwanted attention is by placing a flashing neon-green pot leaf in your front window. How else can you draw in business? Green pot leaf tells the consumer what they need to know, ‘marijuana is available here.”
City ordinances may allow your neon green pot-leaf signage, but know this, a few of the residents will likely take issue with your sign, and subsequently, your business. Keeping it discreet is imperative says Oakland County Michigan Sheriff, Michael Bouchard.
“In 2008, the State of Michigan approved Michigan’s marijuana program and with that, it does allow medicinal marijuana to approved applicants and at that time they receive a certificate from the State. This has opened up the issues of how that would apply to local land use and local zoning. Michigan Building Departments have been getting questions regarding just how it will relate to the local government, particularly regarding paraphernalia, for growing marijuana, for distributing it, and compassion care clubs, etc. There is a bit of a retail trade and also a use trade. We need to determine where to site these types of facilities. Some communities have been coming up with zoning amendments addressing this issue. Auburn Hills recently came up with amendments pertaining to dispensaries, refining the language, regulating them, restricting them, etc.
“You may find (it) useful as you consider issues that may arise should these businesses become established in your community,” the sheriff added.
Lake Orion township meeting minutes A. PC-2010-02, Text Amendment to Zoning Ordinance No. 78, Article III, Medical Marijuana (Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Laws): Mr. R. Donald Wortman, of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, Inc., overviewed their correspondence, dated March 22, 2010*; attached proposed text amendment*; and, attached correspondence from Sheriff Michael Bouchard, dated March 8, 2010. “You may find (it) useful as you consider issues that may arise should these businesses become established in your community,” the sheriff wrote.