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Meridian pot shop inches toward state license

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(UPDATE: This story has been updated to clarify that there would be three different facilities.)

THURSDAY, March 21 — The state Medical Marijuana Licensing Board granted prequalification status today to an applicant seeking to open businesses in Meridian Township.

Galenas Michigan LLC cleared the first hurdle toward state licenses for a dispensary, a growing operation for up to 1,500 plants and a processing business, all in different and unspecified locations in Meridian Township.

It will still need to obtain state licenses, which will require another round of scrutiny from the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Local officials will also still need to approve the operations, but today’s vote marks the medical marijuana industry’s first strides within Meridian Township.

State records list the registered applicants as Geoffrey Korff, Michael Scheeser and Sarah Alpert. The Meridian Township Board has been crafting a licensing system of its own for months.

Community Planning and Development director, Mark Kieselbach, said township officials are still working out some kinks before applications will eventually be accepted and drawn from a random, lottery-style selection process.

“They made some headway, but there’s been some disagreement over the number of the facilities for some of the locations and some of the locations for the proposed overlay zones,” Kieselbach said.

“It’s back in front of the Planning Commission on Monday for a discussion that will hopefully become a recommendation to the board.”

The board has passed an ordinance that limits the number of dispensaries and other pot-related operations within its jurisdiction, requiring applicants either to obtain state prequalification or maintain a residence within Meridian Township before local applications can proceed.

“There has been a lot of people, behind the scenes, talking to board members about expanding these districts,” Kieselbach added. “That part still needs to be worked out and that’s going to be the next step in the process.”

Among other developments at today’s licensing board meeting:

Lions Labs Ltd. at 4800 N. Grand River Ave. in Lansing earned a state operating license for a processing facility. The business was already approved by the city, effectively greenlighting it for full-blown operation. Applicants include Ryan Ratzloff, Michael Bourbeau, Jonathan Kane, Michael Ramsby, Douglas Cale and Brock Ehlen.

The recent licensure marks the second processor to obtain state approval near the city of Lansing. Green Peak Industries LLC. had already nabbed another state license for processing along Harvest Park Drive in Dimondale.

Apex Ultra Worldwide — registered to 2101 W. Willow St. in Lansing — was approved for prequalification for a dispensary. That business was previously denied licenses by the city for three processors, a growing facility and a provisioning center. It’s unclear where that shop plans to open, but it likely won’t be in the city of Lansing.

Another proposed dispensary — The Herbal Connection — was denied state prequalification for a dispensary at 4314 S. Cedar St. An application with the city for that shop has been withdrawn; Another hasn’t been filed.

Only two dispensaries in Greater Lansing — HomeGrown Lansing and Cannasieur — have obtained state licensure. They’re respectively located at 1116 E. Oakland Avenue and 3200 N. East St. in Lansing.

Green Sky Research at 2231 W. Willow St. was denied prequalification for a Class C growing license. That business is conditionally approved for two growing operations by the city of Lansing. The applicants, unless subsequently denied in Lansing, will need to obtain state licensure before legally able to grow and harvest.

Three other growing facilities were previously licensed to operate in the city of Lansing, including two Class C growing licenses for Green Peak Industries LLC. at 1669 E. Jolly Rd. and 500 E. Michigan Ave. SJS II LLC. also currently maintains a Class B growing license — for 1,000 plants — along Spikes Lane in Lansing.

Capital Transport at 1431 Rensen St. is the only secure transporter to be licensed within the city of Lansing.

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