Traverse City Clerk Overwhelmed by High Volume of Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Applications

Interest in marijuana around Traverse City is really budding.

The city says they are overwhelmed by applications for medical marijuana provisioning centers.

The clerk’s office has already received 75 applications to open dispensaries. Traverse City will pick just 13 of those applicants, and they’re closing the application period early because they’ve gotten so many requests.

The centers would serve as pharmacies for medical marijuana patients. They will not be open to people off the street who do not have a medical marijuana card.

“People are confused, they think anyone 21 and up is going to be able to walk in, and that’s not the case yet,” said Michael Thue who runs the Center for Compassion.

Medical marijuana caregivers are only allowed to supply up to five patients with medical marijuana and they say they need more dispensaries in town to provide for more patients.

“There needs to be access,” said David Martin, who is a caregiver and co-founder of HerbN Meds. “Without stores being open, there’s a lot of people not getting the help they need.”

Applicants in Traverse City had a few preliminary hoops to jump through before they even filed to open a dispensary in town.

They needed to prequalify with the state, have engineered blue prints of their plans and prove to the state they have the financial backing to ensure a viable business.

Thue says lots of real estate is already being bought up in town with plans for a provisioning center in mind.

“The vacant lots around town, some of them have been empty for a number of years, but have been bought,” said Thue.

The application to open a medical marijuana provisioning center in Traverse City closes Thursday at 5 p.m.

The city will select 13 eligible applicants in a lottery May 3.