Traverse City Commissioners Close to Approving Recreational Operations

The TC Ticker reports that Traverse City commissioners are getting close to approving rules that will allow recreational marijuana businesses to operate in the city – at the same time they’re rethinking the city’s reputation as a drinking destination:

The proposed recreational rules would allow unlimited numbers of growing, processing, transportation, and safety compliance facilities, and up to two microbusinesses: small vertically integrated businesses that are limited to 150 plants and have a combination of operations on-site, similar to a microbrewery (though on-site consumption is prohibited). Lounges – or locations where marijuana can be consumed on-site – and marijuana events would not be allowed in Traverse City. “We just felt it was too soon,” said McGillivary, who chaired the ad hoc committee. “We’d rather see how other communities react to this before we go down that path.”

While up to 13 medical dispensaries can currently operate in Traverse City, commissioners expressed interest in having only six recreational retail locations. Shamroe noted that multiple neighboring communities are also pursuing recreational facilities and that Traverse City didn’t need to carry the “weight of the region” in terms of hosting retail stores. “We can always add to (the allowed number), but it’s very hard to take away once we get operations going,” she said. “We just thought that was a much more manageable number for a city of our size.” McGillivary agreed, saying he didn’t want “to cap the market at an unreasonably low number,” but that he thought six to eight recreational stores would be a “reasonable” figure. While medical dispensaries are prohibited downtown, Downtown Development Authority (DDA) CEO Jean Derenzy said her board would be open to having a discussion about allowing recreational stores if there was a cap or minimum distance set between downtown locations.

Read on for more.