Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Traverse City May Soon Operate Recreationally

Good news just in time for 4/20

Traverse City commissioners are looking at new marijuana rules that may finally allow dispensaries to issue permits for recreational use.

“It’s been a long, ongoing thing with the city, obviously, but our hopes are still super high,” said Manager of Lighthouse John Handzlik. “If we were to be able to go recreational, it would open up kind of a world of doors for us.”

Traverse City currently has 12 dispensaries—all for medical use only.

“Unlike the medical dispensaries which were decided by lottery, there has to be a scoring mechanism or some way of determining a merit base for distributing the recreational licenses,” said Traverse City Commissioner Mi Stanley.

Commissioners say they are very close to deciding how many recreational permits they will allow.

“No final number has been settled on, but that was what the discussion was looking at, was what the potential max could be,” said Stanley.

One commissioner suggested a max of 24 permits, which would open up doors for even more dispensaries in the city.

Olswell is one location that looks forward to the potential of opening up more locations with the permits.

“I’m excited to see what it could bring to our town in terms of tax revenue, theres a lot of money on the table that could help out anything for us locally,” said Assistant Manager of Olswell Daniel Linsell.

Those at Lighthouse say they have to turn a lot of customers away, since they can’t operate recreationally yet.

“We have a ton of tourists coming in the door and that’s where that recreational ticket comes in for us,” said Handzlik. “Sadly, we just have to keep sending them away to Kalkaska, Honor, the neighboring cities around Traverse City.”

These dispensaries may have the chance to get permits for recreational use by the end of this summer.

“I’m encouraged that it’s going in the right direction, i’m excited to see what will happen on May 2nd when they vote and I’m also cautiously optimistic because I’m not sure anything will actually happen,” said Linsell.

The city will vote on the number of permits on May 2nd.