City Commission Enacts Adult Use Cannabis Ordinance

May 17, 2022

City Commission Enacts Adult Use Cannabis Ordinance

Application Submission Anticipated for June 2022


The City of Traverse City’s City Commission approved the adult use cannabis licensing and zoning ordinance and the scoring rubric at their May 16, 2022 meeting.  The ordinance includes an overlay district of subareas throughout the City, which prescribes a maximum number of licenses in each subarea. The maximum number of retail licenses will be 24. View the Overlay District Map

It is anticipated that the City Clerk’s Office will begin accepting applications in mid June 2022. The amount of license applications will determine when licenses will be fully issued and executed. If the amount of license applications exceeds the amount of licenses available, the City will be in a position to issue licenses by approximately August 2023.  The application process is extensive and robust and requires a tremendous amount of documentation which must be vetted by City departments, and time is provided for applicant’s to clarify any issues or deficiencies with the application.   Once that is complete, pre-vetted applications move on to an intensive and analytical scoring process, which involves multiple public meetings where applicants are provided with an opportunity to make a presentation to the scoring committee and following that, the competitive scoring takes place at a subsequent public meeting.   Additionally, on-site inspections are required.

On November 6, 2018, Michigan voters approved legalized cannabis for recreational use (adult use). The City Commission has since been working to implement regulations to allow adult use cannabis retail facilities within the City and was prepared to begin issuing adult use cannabis retail licenses.  Due to litigation, the City was ordered to revisit the scoring rubric. An Ad Hoc Committee of the City Commission was created to establish regulations and develop a new scoring rubric during multiple public meetings and was approved on May 16, 2022, by the City Commission.

“Through a number Ad Hoc Committee meetings and a formal, focused series of engagement opportunities, the development of how adult use cannabis will be regulated has passed. The City Clerk’s Office will work closely with applicants and city departments on processing applications and issuing licenses throughout the City.  We look forward to welcoming adult use cannabis retail facilities to the Traverse City business community” says City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.

The City will heavily promote when applications will become available.

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