Niles City Council gives marijuana business 90-day extension

Published 1:33 pm Tuesday, September 29, 2020

NILES — A company hoping to grow roots in the Niles community was given an extension on Monday evening to get their business functional.

A last-minute letter from the Medi-Cann and Medi-Cann Verano’s lawyer seemed enough to buy the company a 90-day extension to get its businesses running.

The company was marked for a vote on whether the city council would revoke its licenses due to non-compliance of Niles Opt-In Ordinance 481, Sections 3.C.A.1.A. This section of the city’s code outlines the zoning and licensing parameters for medical marihuana facilities in the city of Niles.  A letter sent to the Niles City Council from the investors one hour prior to the 6 p.m. meeting was taken into consideration.

“This particular [company] we’ve been working with for at least two years,” said Niles City Administrator Ric Huff. “They’ve had a couple partners fall through along the way. More recently, they are advising us that they lost another partner at the first of the year. Then there were issues with the properties they were going to move into changed ownership and are not available to them. Then of course, COVID-19.”

The company was issued its provisional approval certificate for a class C grow license and a provisional approval certificate for a processing center for medical marijuana in December 2017. In April 2019, the city council issued a notice of alternate selection for a provisioning center.

The attorney for Medi-Cann, Craig Aronoff, participated in the meeting Monday evening, introducing himself during public comment.

“I did submit a letter earlier to the council for the purposes of our response to the request in item 13,” Aronoff said. “I am hoping we are able to resolve our concerns and be able to bring Medi-Cann’s dream to life as well.”

The city council members agreed to give the company 90-days before their class C grow license, processing center certificate and provisioning center alternate selection was revoked.

Council member John DiCostanzo asked Huff if any other marijuana businesses were interested in opening a type of business that Medi-Cann’s delays might be holding up. According to Huff, there has been interest, but no serious moves to begin filing paperwork.

DiCostanzo said with that in mind, he could support a 90 day extension to the terms.
Concerns were raised about defining what the company’s progress needed to be within 90 days.

The council ultimately voted to not revoke Medi-Cann and Medi-Cann Verano’s licenses Monday evening, but added two steps the companies need to take in the next 90 days.

The companies will need to submit their step two establishment license applications to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency and provide a lease or purchase agreement of a building in Niles.

“[This step] should not be submitted if they are not ready to inspect within 60 days,” said Niles Community Development Director Sanya Vitale. “You’re ready to go.”

The second step application means that within 90 days, Medi-Cann and Medi-Cann Verano will need to be ready to operate in the state of Michigan to avoid revocation of their marijuana licenses in Niles.