Frequently Asked Questions

Dear prospective adult use cannabis establishment applicant:

First, thank you for your interest in adding to the business community of Traverse City!   

The purpose of these Frequently Asked Questions below is to provide you with some basic information regarding the cannabis licensing process, and answer some anticipated questions on how the City of Traverse City will process applications for adult use cannabis establishments. Respectfully, please understand that this document in no way is meant to be an exhaustive review. You should thoroughly review the City of Traverse City’s ordinances which regulate adult use cannabis, state and federal regulations and rules, as well as consult with your own experts and legal counsel.

Again, thank you for your interest in locating your business within the City of Traverse City, we look forward to working with you!


Benjamin Marentette, MMC
City Clerk 

Anticipated Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where and how do applications need to be submitted?

    All applications must be submitted in digital format, as searchable PDFs.

    If sending via the mail, write “Adult Use Application” on the envelope or package. If emailing, use “Adult Use Application (Business Name)” as the subject line.

    Via mail OR In-person (M-F, 8-5pm)
    Benjamin Marentette, MMC
    City Clerk – City of Traverse City
    c/o Sarah Lutz
    400 Boardman Avenue – First Floor
    Traverse City, MI 49684

    Via email


  1. What needs to be submitted with the application?

    Applications will be considered received when the non-refundable application fee and all required submittals, as outlined in the application, have been submitted to the Clerk’s Office. Please review it carefully!


  1. When will applications be accepted and how must they be submitted?

    The City Clerk will accept applications for retail establishments and microbusinesses starting at 8 a.m. on August 22, 2022, until 5 p.m. on August 26, 2022; applications for these two establishment types will not be accepted at any other time. Applications will be made available online as of June 13, 2022.  If the City Clerk receives more applications than there are permits available, (including more than 24 total, or more than allowable by the quota of a subarea) these permit types will be awarded on a competitive basis. 

    All applications must be submitted digitally as a searchable PDF, on a flash drive or through an electronic file sharing (eg. Google drive) link, along with the nonrefundable application fee. Applications will be considered received when the non-refundable application fee and all required submittals, as outlined in the application, have been submitted to the Clerk’s Office– please review it carefully.

    As outlined in the application, please number supplemental pages of your application sequentially.

    For all other applications, the City Clerk will accept them on an ongoing basis.


  1. Can I submit multiple applications for different locations and facility types?

    For retail establishments and microbusiness establishments, the city does not allow the same applicant (as defined by city ordinance) to submit multiple applications for the same establishment type at multiple addresses. In the instance that multiple applications for the same establishment type are submitted by the same applicant for multiple locations, the associated application fee(s) will not be refunded.

    For retail establishments and microbusiness establishments, the city will accept one application per property. Once an application for a property has been received, all subsequent applications for that property will not be accepted and the city will refund, or return, the fee for the applications for the same property that came in after the first one submitted.


  1. Where can facilities be located?

    As a general reference, please see the related map. However, we highly recommend you email the city’s Zoning Administrator, Dave Weston ( the address for the proposed facility, along with the facility type, to determine if the address and proposed facility type are permissible under the city’s zoning rules. Any response from the City’s Zoning Administrator neither guarantees nor implies that a permit will be issued – permits are only issued by the City Clerk.

    Any proposed adult use cannabis facility shall not be within a 1,000 foot radius of any school, as shown on the map. For facilties located in a building with multiple suites or separate storefronts, the actual "suite" or storefront where the facility is located shall not be within such radius, provided that each suite/storefront is separated entirely from the other suites/storefronts in the building.


  1. Is there a limit on the number of facility permits the city will issue?

    The City may issue a maximum of twenty four (24) adult use retail establishment permits, and a maximum of two microbusiness establishment permits. However, the ordinance includes an overlay district of subareas throughout the City, which prescribes a maximum number of permit in each subarea. In no instance will the City Clerk issue more permits than are available in a given subarea, nor issue more than 24 permit in total across the city. Other than retail establishments and microbusiness establishments, there is no maximum limit on the number of permits the City may issue for other permissible establishment types.


  1. Is the application fee refundable?

    Once the initial application and fee have been submitted, the fee is non-refundable, with the exceptions as outlined in question #4 above.


  1. When will the City Clerk sign the attestation required by the State of Michigan?

    The City Clerk will sign the attestation when your application has gone through all of the necessary steps to be awarded a permit, with the only remaining item necessary is the City Clerk’s Office receipt of your state operating license.


  1. What happens once I submit my application? What is the approval process?

    Once your application is submitted to the City Clerk’s office, we will conduct an initial review for completeness. If, upon initial review of the application a portion is incomplete or an item is missing, the City Clerk’s Office will notify you by email to the address of the individual listed on the “contact information” section of the application. You will have ten (10) business days from the email date to provide the incomplete or missing information to the City Clerk.

    After successful initial review by the City Clerk’s Office, your application will be forwarded to various City departments for their review. These departments include: The Fire Department, Police Department, Municipal Utilities Department, Engineering Department, and Traverse City Light and Power. It is possible that these departments may identify missing information. In such instances, the department will notify the City Clerk’s Office who will then notify the applicant as provided above. Again, you will have ten (10) business days to provide the incomplete or missing information to the City Clerk.

    For retail establishments and microbusiness establishments, applicants who are determined eligible will move on to a scoring phase (the scoring phase is only required if more applications are submitted than permits available, either in total in the City (maximum of 24), or max per subarea). Applicants must obtain a minimum of 70% of the points available in order to be considered for permit. In the event of a tie, the City Clerk will conduct an in-person drawing. One representative from each application will be allowed to attend the drawing, and it will be recorded.

    Any applicants defined as “qualified applicants” under city ordinance who are denied a permit by the City Clerk may request reconsideration as outlined in city ordinance.

    It’s anticipated that the City Clerk will issue permits by June 2023. If the competitive scoring process isn’t necessary, it is possible permits could be issued as early as March 2023.

  2. What do I do if something changes in terms of operation of my establishment or the information I provided on my application after my permit is issued, including any application for annual renewal?

    Nothing represented in your application materials may be changed until specifically authorized in writing by the City Clerk.If you make such a change without prior written approval of the City Clerk, your permit may be suspended or revoked. Any proposed changes must be submitted in writing to the City Clerk at least ten (10) calendar days in advance of the proposed change.


  1. How do I add or delete owners of the permit?

    You will need to amend your permit by submitting another application, completing only the sections that apply to ownership and submitting a letter explaining the ownership change. No change in ownership may occur until approved in writing by the City Clerk through the amendment process.


  1. Once an Adult Use Cannabis Establishment Permit has been issued by the City Clerk, how long is it valid?

    These permits are valid for up to two years from the date of issuance by the City Clerk.


  1. What is the renewal process? When can I submit a renewal application?

    Once issued, Adult Use permits will be good for two years. Renewing involves submitting an application and non-refundable application fee 30-90 days before the expiration date.