After much deliberation, Ferndale has come to a final decision on their licensing structure for Michigan marijuana facilities. Despite having been one of the few cities in Michigan to decriminalize marijuana in 2013, they have only opted in for three dispensary locations, one safety compliance facility, and decided to completely disallow cultivation and processing..

At their May 14th meeting, the city council voted for ‘Option 1’ of the two options presented to them. Under these new rules, applicants will have to follow a strict state application process before they are even considered by the City of Ferndale.  

An excerpt from the city council agenda shows the following options that were presented to the board –

  1. Option 1 would require that after an applicant has been approved through the state, staff would review the application for compliance with the ordinance up to the number permitted under the zoning ordinance, then submit for Planning Commission review. This option recognizes the significant financial, background and operational review that is undertaken by the state in connection with state-issued licenses.
  2. Option 2 creates a 30-day enrollment period that would allow applications to be submitted and evaluated and scored by the staff or a third-party reviewer (with indication of points for five categories). The highest score would be issued a permit up to the number permitted under the zoning ordinance. This option would still require a provisioning center to secure a state issued license, but could seek local approval first. This scoring and selection would need to be subject to adjustment should a top scored applicant not receive a state issued license.

Choosing to move forward with Option 1 means that there are very few companies that even qualify to submit to the City of Ferndale for a permit, as the state is extremely backed up with marijuana facility applications. The Medical Marihuana Board has been meeting every few weeks to move applicants through the preapproval process, but so far less than 15 businesses have gotten the green light to proceed to the next stage. The state has not issued any licenses to date, and June 15 is the looming shutdown date for all unlicensed operators.

City of Ferndale Marijuana Ordinance Summary

  • 3 Provisioning Centers
  • 1 Safety Compliance Facility
  • 500 feet from an educational institution, nursery school, or child care center, or another medical marihuana facility
  • Zoned M-1, M-2, or OS
  • Must be pre-approved by the state of Michigan