THREE OAKS — The Three Oaks Village Planning Commission approved the final Special Land Use Request and Preliminary Site Plan Approval request related to proposed marijuana businesses during a July 27 special meeting and public hearing.

Planners unanimously approved the requests from Oak Flint LLC related to a proposed marijuana retail center at 6741 West U.S. Highway 12 in Three Oaks. It is 10th application for a retail outlet in the village, and came as officials were in the “bidding period” stage of the process of deciding who will get licenses to operate marijuana-related businesses.

After the July 6 regular Planning Commission meeting, consultant Rebecca Harvey said the next step in the process was a bidding period scheduled for July 19-29. After that the Village Council will decide who receives licenses under the Village Marihuana Ordinance (the number of licenses in some areas is limited – for instance there is a maximum of two retail licenses allowed under the ordinance – a number increased from one by the council on June 9).

Also on June 9 the maximum number of “Grower” licenses that can be approved by the village was changed to up to three licenses in each of the three categories (Class A, 100 plants; Class B, 1,000 plants; and Class C, 2,000 plants). The previous limit was two overall growers in any class.

The other maximum numbers of Marihuana Businesses in various categories that can be authorized under Ordinance 222 include: 1 – Marihuana Microbusiness; 2 – Marihuana Processors; 1 – Marihuana Compliance Facility; and 1 – Marihuana Secure Transporter.

Three Oaks Village President Richard Smith said on July 27 that those seeking licenses under the Marihuana Ordinance had through July 29 to apply. After the bidding period closes, Smith said the village clerk will review all of the applications for clarity and errors (applicants will be given two weeks to correct their applications if needed).

“Once all the applications have been approved, then it comes before Village Council where we will begin the task of deciding who will receive the licenses that we have available to hand out,” he said, adding “the most highly anticipated are the two retail licenses.”

Smith said he expects a series of special meetings to be held, with licensing decisions made “hopefully by October.”

“We don’t want to rush this, this is very important, this is new for the village. We want to make sure we’re finding the right applicants that will fit well within our village, and that we’re doing this by the book and doing it right.”

The Village Council held a July 29 marijuana assessment workshop to prepare for the approval process.

During the July 27 Planning Commission hearing and special meeting, John McLeod of Cloud Cannabis Co. said the proposed retail center at 6741 West U.S. 12 would operate out of a single-story building of just under 4,400 square feet

“This is going to be a straight retail business just like all of the other stores that we have throughout the state,” he said, adding that there are four stores currently operating in Ann Arbor, Muskegon, Traverse City and Utica.

Opening “hopefully by the end of the year” will be retail centers in Detroit, New Baltimore, Cedar Springs Grand Rapids (two), and Pontiac.

“We should have 14 to 18 stores by the end of 2022,” McLeod said.

In response to a question from a member of the Planning Commission, he said Three Oaks was chosen as a place to open a retail center because “a southern border store” was wanted.

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