Marihuana Hearing Officer Provides Recommendation to City and Prospective Business Applicants

Media contacts: Torri Mathes, City of Berkley; 248-658-3333; 

Berkley, MI – November 8, 2021 – Berkley’s Marihuana Hearing Officer, Gregory K. Need, has completed his recommendation to City administration, City Council, and the prospective Marihuana business applicants after holding Marihuana Business Licensing appeal hearings in September 2021. 

The appeal hearings were held after City Manager Matt Baumgarten held a public meeting to score all marihuana license applications that were submitted to the City between June 15 and June 29, 2020. 

At the appeal hearings, applicants were able to speak and rebut their scores and City administrators answered the Hearing Officer’s questions. Following the hearings, Hearing Officer Need reviewed all written and verbal statements and made a recommendation to all parties at the end of October. A summary of the recommendations can be viewed here

Based on the Hearing Officer’s recommendation, the City Manager will be scoring application PMA20-0002 (also known as Bud McCool) on Friday, November 12, 2021, 10 AM at City Hall (3338 Coolidge Hwy). Next steps include the following: 

November to December 2021(Tentative Schedule)**
  • Marihuana business license applicants have the option to appeal the scoring of PMA20-0002. 
  • City response regarding the re-scoring application is due to the Hearing Officer.
  • Appeals Hearing to be held by the Hearing Officer (if applicable). 
  • Recommendation from Hearing Officer due to City Council, City administration, and prospective Marihuana business license applicants.
  • Public Hearing regarding the Hearing Officer’s recommendation to be held at City Council Meeting (Tentatively scheduled in January 2022). 

**In order to ensure that all processes are complete and without complication, the appeal process will take place before any development plans can be submitted for site plan review by the Planning Commission.

What Has the City Done Thus Far?

  • (February 2019) Conducted a City-wide survey and Informational Town Hall Meeting on whether the City of Berkley should allow for medical and recreational marihuana businesses.
  • (June 2019) City Council approved a temporary extension to “opt-in” at the end of the year and to begin accepting applications for recreational and medical marihuana businesses.
  • (August - September 2019) Planning Commission reviewed the zoning map and ordinance language to permit medical and recreational marihuana businesses to operate within the City. 
  • (December 2019) City Council voted to approve licensing and zoning ordinances effectively allowing marihuana business in the City of Berkley.
  • (February 2020) City Council approved and adopted the merit point evaluation system for marihuana business licenses in Berkley. 
  • (March 2020) The marihuana business license application submission process opened. 
  • (May 2020) The marihuana business license application submission process re-opened due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • (September 2020) Scoring results were released on September 29, 2020, posted on the City’s website, and notification was sent to the applicants. Pursuant to the ordinance, the 3 highest-scoring applicants were to be recommended by the City Manager. 
  • (November 2020) Administrative appeals were filed by most applicants who did not agree with the initial scoring of their application. City Council appointed a hearing officer to preside over the appeals and make a report and recommendation to City Council in accordance with the ordinance. 
  • (December 2020) Litigation ensued thereafter, and, on the day the administrative appeal hearings were scheduled to begin, the Circuit Court entered a preliminary injunction suspending the City’s administrative appeal and licensing process.
  • (July 2021) City moved forward with the marihuana licensing application process after pending litigation in the County Circuit Court concluded and the preliminary injunction by the said court was lifted. Berkley City Manager Matt Baumgarten held a public meeting and scored the marihuana license applications that were submitted to the City between June 15 and June 29, 2020, based on the scoring matrix criteria adopted by City Council. 

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