Ten applicants vie for three open spots in hopes to open recreational marijuana retail locations

For those following along the evolution of Mt. Pleasant’s recreational marijuana industry, the applications to do business in the city have been submitted.

The city received ten retailer applications by the Friday, Feb. 28 deadline. Because the city’s recreational marijuana ordinance limits the amount of recreational marijuana retailers to three, the ten applicants must go through a second vetting process.

Applicants must now provide the city an additional round of applications and any supplemental materials that may help their arguments as to why they’re best suited to operate a retail business in Mt. Pleasant. A selection committee made up of the city planner, city clerk, and director of public safety will then go over the materials.

The deadline is expected to be announced next week.

The committee will then go over the materials, weighing a host of factors including planned investments in the community, applicants’ backgrounds, potential impacts on neighbors, and more. The three retailers will be announced some time after that.

"This is the first time we’ve done something like this on this scale, so I’m not sure how long it’s going to take us. Plus we’re still doing our own regular jobs. There are a lot of moving pieces," says Jacob Kain, city planner for Mt. Pleasant.

"But we’re hoping to decide within several weeks, not months."

The selection committee will have open meetings, giving members of the community the opportunity to watch and interact with the team.

While the demand for a retail license exceeds the supply, other licenses remain available. Because there was only one of three applications filed for a Class C growers license, that entity will be able to move forward in the licensing process without competition.

Additional licenses for Class A and B growers and microbusinesses remain unapplied for, meaning that future applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

"I’m pretty confident in our process,” Kain says. “I think we have a good, well-balanced approach."

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