Flint, MI—With the deadline to adopt a new marijuana ordinance looming, the city of Flint’s Planning and Development Department shared its timeline for getting a new ordinance passed.

Flint’s marijuana ordinance, which regulates marijuana businesses in the city, became a priority for the department when Flint City Council adopted a new zoning code on July 25, 2022. 

The code’s adoption set in motion a 90-day window to also adopt a new marijuana ordinance or risk losing Flint’s current marijuana business regulations entirely.

In lieu of that possibility, the city’s planning department has shared a strict timeline for passing a new marijuana ordinance before Oct. 29, when the city’s updated zoning code will take effect.

Here is the department’s proposed timeline, including past milestones:

  • July 25, 2022: Flint City Council adopted the new zoning ordinance. The zoning ordinance is not enacted until 90-days after the date of publishing, which is required within 15 days of Council adoption (i.e., no later than August 9, 2022).
  • July 31, 2022: Zoning ordinance is published in a local paper, meaning it will be enacted on October 29, 2022.
  • August 5, 2022: Finalize permanent marijuana ordinance, including renumbering, substantive changes due to state’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency requirements, and changes due to zoning code classification changes in the new adopted zoning code.
  • August 23, 2022: Present permanent marijuana ordinance to Flint Planning Commission for review and approval.
  • August 24, 2022: Provide permanent marijuana ordinance to City Administrator for review, approval, and inclusion on next Flint City Council Legislative Committee agenda.
  • August 24 – Sept 7, 2022: City Council to hold a Special Meeting for presentation from Planning and Development on the permanent marijuana ordinance.
  • Sept 7, 2022: Ordinance appears on Flint City Council Legislative Committee agenda.
  • Sept 12, 2022: Ordinance appears on Flint City Council agenda for First Reading.
  • Sept 18, 2022: Flint City Clerk publishes Notice of Public Hearing for permanent marijuana ordinance.
  • Oct 10, 2022: Permanent marijuana ordinance appears on Council agenda for public hearing, Second Reading, and Adoption.

Suzanne Wilcox, director of Flint’s Planning and Development Department, reiterated that a new ordinance must be adopted and published no later than Oct. 29, 2022 or Flint will be without a marijuana ordinance.

Without that ordinance, Wilcox said in an email, the city will be unable to conduct any new marijuana business, including re-licensures, site plans, and new applications.

“The marijuana ordinance is a component of the zoning code and its adoption according to the timeline outlined above is critical to being able to continue the ongoing [marijuana regulation] work in the Planning office,” Wilcox wrote.

As noted in the timeline, the city’s Planning and Development Department will share its proposed draft marijuana ordinance for the first time at an Aug. 23 Planning Commission meeting

The meeting will provide the first opportunity for public comment on the draft, though Wilcox added that the public can also provide feedback “during any regular City Council meeting during the public comment period, and during the public hearing portion of the Flint City Council meeting (expected October 10, 2022).”

The draft marijuana ordinance being reviewed by the Flint Planning Commission on Aug. 23 may still be changed by Flint City Council during its own review and adoption process.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....