Saline Establishes $5,000 Medical Marijuana Application Fee

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Medical marijuana businesses interested in establishing themselves in Saline will need to pay a $5,000 application fee before being considered. That amount was established by the Saline City Council upon the recommendation of the City Manager and her staff.

“This is the cost we believe reflects the efforts that the City will have to provide in order to process these applications. This includes, but is not limited to: administrative review, application processing, associated legal review, if necessary, background investigation, security plan site visit, and increased police training with emphasis on marijuana establishments. After a year of this program, we will have a better idea of the exact amount of time/effort it takes to process which could lead to a fee change for this and the future recreational application fee, if the City moves forward with that,” Deputy City Manager Mike Greene told the Sun Times News in an email.

This fee is the maximum allowable under state law, according to Greene. And to be clear, this fee applies for every category, so if a business wants to provision and sell marijuana within city limits, for example, it would have to pay multiple fees at $5,000 per application.

“Our costs are the same as places like Ypsi or Ann Arbor. Our inspectors cost the same, our staff cost the same, our attorneys cost the same,” City Manager Colleen O’Toole said.

The application lasts for one year. If establishing a business takes longer than a year, then the applicant will have to pay an additional, smaller fee. But the city did not specify how much smaller that fee would be, other than it would be determined by city staff.

Like most communities, Saline is requiring medical marijuana businesses to be at least 250 feet from each other and 1,000 feet from schools. The resulting geography means that downtown will not be a viable location for any business, but the east and west ends will be. Recreational marijuana is going to be considered by the Council in the near future.

“Do we have any interest yet?” City Councilor Jim Dell’Orco asked Greene.

“Yes,” Greene said. “Every Day.”

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