People Line Up Way Early To Get Pot Shop License In Michigan Township

WWJ News
October 10, 2019 - 3:39 pm
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MUSKEGON TWP. (WWJ) - People are lined up outside a western Michigan township office more than a week before local officials are set to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana businesses licenses.

With chairs and blankets, several people sat waiting outside the Muskegon Township Hall after trustees approved an ordinance allowing for a handful of pot shops to open there. 

"People got in line as soon as our board meeting ended on Monday night the 7th; so about 7:30 p.m. Monday night," said Muskegon Township Supervisor Jennifer Hodges, who counted ten or so people in line Wednesday morning.

Hodges told WWJ's Michael Cohen that only seven provisioning center licenses are available.

The fee is $5,000 per license, with shops being allowed to sell both medical and recreational pot. They'll be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis for applicants meeting all requirements.

"You know, we did not anticipate this type of excitement...or even attention," Hodges said. "The board put together an ordinance and some zoning that we thought best fit the township based on our voted turnout and how many people voted for adult use marijuana." 

Hodges said those in line represented four or so interested parties, with people reportedly getting paid to hold a place in line. 

Michigan voters legalized marijuana for recreational purposes last fall, a decade after approving it for medical use. 

Since December 6, it's been legal for Michigan residents and visitors to have up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana on them and, up to 10 ounces (284 grams) at home, as well as up to 12 plants. However, stores have not yet opened as regulators continue to work on licensing. 

Once recreational pot shops open, expected in early 2020, sales will be taxed, 10 percent on top of the six percent sales tax, with the tax dollars going to schools, roads and cities where the sales take place.