Coldwater Ordinance issues delay decision on retail sales at Cannabis Grow Facility

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On Monday, Craft Leaf LLC received a special-use permit to operate a marijuana processing facility at its grow operation at 211 W. Garfield Road. 

But Coldwater Planning Commission could not issue an integrated retail sale permit in the D-1 industrial area. 

Coldwater City Council adopted a revised zoning ordinance in December 2021. The portion allowing the retail sales at marijuana grow and processing plants were omitted from the revision. 

"This location was awarded Special Land Use permission to operate a Marihuana Grow Class C on October 4, 2021," said planning board members Dean Walrack. "The owners are now interested in vertically integrating the processing and sales into this site."

The planning commission approved a unified vertical operation on Butters Avenue. Some members did not remember that it was allowed under the original recreational ordinance passed by the planning commission and city council.  

Salaw Allaw of Detroit is the applicant. Yasin "Jesse" Hewain, representing the owner, told the planning board falling price of marijuana prompted the requests.

"Those who do vertically integrate, they can cultivate, and then they do some processing and do retail. They tend to survive, tend to weather whatever it is fluctuation in prices," he said.

Hewain said prices dropped by almost 70% per pound. Marijuana flower that sold at $2,700 a pound now sells for $800. Without the vertices integration, "you're not making anything." 

With the fall outdoor harvest season soon to begin, prices can expect to drop more. The licensee said that outdoor growers do not have the higher cost of electricity and production.  

The grow facility is complete and has passed its state inspection for a license. Hewain said it could expand at its location.

"Right now, we are licensed for 2000 plants. If things go as planned, we probably may apply for another so that we can exceed that 2000," he said. That could require expansion of the current building to the west. 

Craft Leaf would put a storefront on the east side of the building it obtained from Fast Roofing. Traffic would enter and exit off Treat Avenue, not Garfield. 

Walrack said the site plan needs to meet all the city's requirements. The city engineering consultant is currently out on maternity leave.

"There are still things that need to be done before the grow operation can begin," Walrack said. 

There are 10 paved parking spots planned. Hewain said there would be one retail employee and three in the grow operation. 

Walrack said when the city converted its ordinances to the clear zoning online format, "that language was dropped. And that ordinance was enacted. So what's currently in force is that there's no retail."

The planning commission discussed if there is any way to act pending the city council's correction of the ordinance or if the process needed to start over, with a planning commission hearing and then action by the city council. 

Walrack will discuss the situation with city attorney Megan Angel. 

Region: Michigan