Council adopts second reading of medical marijuana ordinance changes

Votes to award sole license to original lottery winner

DAVISON — City council approved the second reading of changes to its medical marijuana ordinance at its May 10 meeting, then decided to award the city’s only license to the winner of the original lottery held in 2019.

The council approved. 5-2, the second reading of changes to the medical marijuana ordinance which relocated the overlay district from a parcel of city owned property north of town on M-15, to the entire downtown area.

Councilmen Ron Emery and Chris Hinkley voted no on the second reading.

The council then reversed its earlier decision to hold another licensing lottery, due to the relocation of the district, in favor of awarding the sole license to the original winner who was unable to develop the property earmarked for a medical marijuana dispensary.

In August 2019 the city held a lottery for the sole license, and it was awarded to Jim Joubran of High Society Wellness. That license was for a small parcel of city owned property north of town off M-15.

Earlier this year, Joubran came before the council and complained the site could not be developed in a cost-efficient manner, so he requested moving the license to property he owns on M-15 near downtown, on the west side of the road between Third and Fourth streets.

City council voted to move the zone, but in doing so decided in all fairness to start the lottery process over with the drawing to take place at the June 14 council meeting.

On May 10, however, the council changed its mind.

Mayor Tim Bishop said that while Joubran’s six months to come forward with a plan for the north M-15 site had lapsed, in all fairness to the developer the property was not lease ready.

“He didn’t even have the paperwork to start the work, there was no title on the property,” said Bishop. “It should have been ready at day one.”

He went on the say he didn’t think it was fair to Joubran to make him pay the $5,000 to put his name into another lottery when he didn’t have a fair chance to develop the first property he’d won the license for.

Emery, who also serves on the medical marijuana committee, said in his opinion, Joubran, as the original applicant and lottery winner, failed to develop the property earmarked in the first version of the ordinance and should not be given a second chance without going through another lottery for the new district created by council.

“I personally had no communication with the applicants,” said Emery. “The first go-around he did not meet the timeline of six months to submit a site plan.

The council voted 5-2 to reissue the city’s only medical marijuana license to Joubran with Hinkley and Emery voting no.

Joubran will now have six months to deliver a site plan for the property inside the new district.