Dispensary Approval in Saline Presents Opposing Views


Swisher Pending Sign on 1080 E. Michigan Ave in Saline Awaits Lume Cannabis Co. Site Approval Photo By Sarah Hirshland

On December 19, 2022, Saline City Council members and citizens came together to discuss the upcoming dispensary that’s set to make way into the community. The property is in early but committed stages to be a medical marijuana provision center by the cannabis company, Lume. Though residents of the nearby area opposed the dispensary, the motion at 1080 East Michigan Avenue was approved by council members with a consensus vote.

“Rooted in Quality,” claims Lume on their site, has 32 other working locations in Michigan, and is in the process of purchasing the property at 1080 E. Michigan Ave. The property for special land use has historical value and purpose to residents who attended the meeting. Some residents shared concerns that the new marijuana center may pose a threat to the local characteristics of the community, and its long-standing family values. Resident of Saline, Ben Goodman made many let down comments on the council's approval for the dispensary, “It’s a bad location for a dispensary to go,” stated Goodman, “I’m very disappointed in the vote tonight, tonight you failed me, you failed my kids.”

The proposed dispensary is near Rentschler Farm, an area where many residents and their families come together. Other concerns raised questions around odor and manufacturing. It was stated by council that there will be no growing of marijuana and will be used for retail purposes only. “They can’t grow in the city, it’s strictly forbidden in our zoning ordinance,” said Community Development Manager Ben Harrington.

A resident of Berwyk Park, stated an opinion in how the dispensary is “sending a message to the character of the community,” “what I like about Saline is the character of the community.” The resident was trying to make a point that there are many other locations for consumers to purchase marijuana. Council member Jack Ceo agreed with these sentiments, however stated “majority of citizens in the state voted to legitimize this kind of business,” said Ceo commenting on democracy, and taking away focus on opinion.

Berwyk Park has 100 plus people living a near 900 feet from where the building will be located. Licensing for the medical marijuana facility is given by the state, though the city of Saline will oversee regulations, “the process of whether or not a dispensary is allowed to locate in Saline is not entirely subject,” stated Harrignton, “It’s not a case-by-case thing, there are specific standards they have to meet for specific land use.”

According to the city council, special land use follows the applicant, and the property on use and need. Any site and floor expansion would require further submission by Lume. Sale of special land use is contingent on the city's approval. Currently the city still has control over the site with the right to heavily regulate the property. Per the city website, “According to Section 22-95, a person who holds equivalent licenses with common ownership may operate those equivalent licenses at the same location provided each use is approved as a special land use and complies with the requirements of the MRTMA and LARA Rules.”

With all perspectives considered and even morally questioned at times, it seems the matter calls more for business, and not to any citizen objection. The FY 24 budget on the city presentation is at $60,000 for 3 new retail dispensary locations. The contract for Lume, still stands in question of subdivision or no subdivision of the proposed property and is contingent on the city’s approval. The applicant still needs to submit a final site plan, which will include all use and aspects for the site.

The memorandum on the city council website allows the public to view the five conditions of Lume’s site plan. How those standards will be applied is yet to make its way to Saline residents. The Planning Commission is still in process with Lume, however the commission has recommended approval. There is yet to be comments from Lume at this time.

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